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JAHRFEST. 1874-1974 




1874 1974 


Emblem Design by Kevin Pikesh 
Cover Design by Leo Kruenegel 
This book prepared and printed by United Graphics, Inc., Mattoon, Illinois 


V. Ll^T Sur* 


church steeples, the new Community Building . . . leafy trees shading visiting neighbors 
the town . . . summer flower beds, freshly trimmed green lawns. 

the old elevator rising above 


productive farms run by men who love this land and know how to use it . 
in 4-H . . . humming grain dryers in the fall . . . hauling cattle to the sale barn 
loaded grain trucks lined up at the elevators . . . anhydrous wagons. 

their sons and daughters showing livestock 
. black and white Holesteins on pasture . . . 


woods to walk in, mushroom hunting in the green spring or hickory nutting in the golden autumn . . . farm ponds for 
summertime fishing . . . nature trails at. Hidden Springs, the Big Tree . . . pheasant hunting. 


soup suppers, ice cream socials. Homecoming . . . stores, lumber yards, woodcrafting, the feed mill . . . basketball 
games, Little League games on summer evenings . . . Halloween trick and treating . . . Easter sunrise services. Mission Festivals, 
visiting shut-ins . . . yellow school buses . . . auctions . . . bicycling, gardening, playing cards . . . family reunions, the Alumni 
Banquet, covered dish dinners. 






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Strasburg - Original Town 

How It All Began 

Looking out over this area, we see houses and 
buildings; highways with cars, trucks, and school 
buses; green fields of wheat that turn yellow in the 
summer sun; or loads of corn and beans pouring out 
of a combine. It is hard to visualize how this 
country must have looked when it was unoccupied 
except for the many wild animals and an occasional 
band of Indians who cailed this their home. 

It has been popularly accepted that there was 
a salt lick in what later became the center of town 
just south of the Nippe Tavern building. Great 
numbers of deer would travel long distances and 
gather here to partake of this mineral so necessary 
for their well-being. Now and then a hunter would 
venture into this area, and some might stay for the 
summer and return to their native habitat in 
Kentucky or beyond the Wabash. Throughout the 
country were a half dozen log cabins. Word spread 
of the prairie country abounding in wild life. Some 
began to stay and plant a few crops to add to their 
diet of game and fish. 

The first reported settler in Richland was 
David Elliott, who came in 1825. His brother 
Jacob joined him, and later they set up a horse mill 
and a still house to avoid having to take their grain 
to Williamsburg to be ground. Wm. Weeger settled 
on Richland Creek in the spring of 1826, and his 
son John and family came with him. On July 4, 
1826, John's wife had twin daughters. The 
neighboring Indians were fascinated with them, and 
made a double papoose cradle for them. This was 
kept in the family for years. 

Two hardy pioneers were brothers, John and 
James Renshaw, who drove hogs from White 
County. They were so pleased with the country 
that they returned home, sold out their possessions, 
and moved, settling on Richland Creek in 1826. 
John stayed and farmed, but brother James moved 
on to Shelbyville and later to Decatur. 

Soon the covered wagons of the Kentuckians, 
Virginians, and others cut trails over the unbroken 
prairies. The first house to be built on the ground 
now covered by Strasburg, was reportedly a one 
room home built a stone's throw from the deer 
lick. The house was abandoned, and the deer 
ventured back to their salt lick, but in time another 
and still another frontiersman occupied the shack. 

Pioneers trekked westward, arid with no roads 
to follow or obstructions to hinder them, they 
began to cut their own trails. One trail that was 
eventually cut began around Centralia and came 
northward through central Illinois. Strasburg is 
built on the road that was once this trail — the 
Grand Prairie Trail. It crosses most of the state 
from south to north just as the Old National Trail 
does from west to east. This trail became worn by 
the wheels of covered wagons. Many watered their 
oxen, horses, and cows in the Richland Creek 
tributary, which runs through the center of Stras- 
burg. The watering hole was near where York's 
Garage building now stands. 

A number of the covered wagons that took 
part in the overland trip to Oregon in 1847 passed 
through Strasburg to join with other wagons from 

the Springfield area. Later, even as late as 1890, 
covered wagons would come along the trail, then a 
graded road, and stop not at the water hole, but 
the trough at one of the town's pumps. 

The territory around Strasburg was such rich 
soil that the first efforts at actual farming were 
being made around 1840. 

As the pioneersman moved out, the farmers 
bought their land at five to seven dollars an acre, for 
that which had been broken. Government land was 
bought for two dollars an acre. Later when all the 
government land had been sold, the Illinois Central 
put its land on the market for seven dollars per 

Some of the first settlers who arrived in the 
'50's~ were Brehmer, Bracken, Pikesh, Ostermeier, 
Hamm, Kircher, and Harves. Many of these men 
were Germans from Madison County, having come 
originally from southern Germany. The town grew 
and more Germans came to settle, and eventually 
Strasburg became almost an entirely German com- 
munity. In the 1860's and '70's Germans from 
Ohio came, and in the 1880's Pennsylvania Dutch 
came. A few of the later German families were 
the Altags, Bueskings, Vogels, Ulmers, Kulls, and 

These German farmers were hardworking, 
intelligent, and frugal, and they soon made the 
prairie into fertile, productive farms. They were 
looking for new land and they found it here in 
abundance. However, most of the land they took 
to make their new homes on had to be wrested 
from the "wilds." North of the present town it 
was mostly wooded, and the trees had to be 
cleared and the stumps removed before the ground 
could be cultivated. To the south stretched large 
areas of prairie, with tall grass. Here in the bogs 
drainage was a problem, and diseases such as malaria 
and typhoid were prevalent. The prairie grass was 
well rooted, and the sod was tough and almost 
impenetrable. The only plows available had a metal 
point, but only a wooden mould board. "Breaking 
the prairie" was an arduous task. Many who settled 
here found it necessary to buy a tract of timber 
ground a few miles to the east or west to provide 
firewood, rails for fences, and building materials. 
These early farmers spent long hours cultivating 
hedge plants to make fences, but these were so 
tender at the beginning that they had to be pro- 
tected from the animals that the fences were 
designed to keep in. The farmers were more than 
happy when barbed wire was made available, so 
they then could do away with rail or hedge fences. 

So ends the story of our territory before 
Strasburg was. On to the town itself. It's recorded 
that Charles Ostermeier put up a store building 
where Renshaw's now stands. He opened a general 
store, and supplied the nucleus of the future town. 
In 1874 when the railroad was completed through 
Richland Township, Ostermeier laid out forty 
acres of land surrounding his store for the site of 
the town. He named it Strasburg, for his native 
Strasburg on the Rhine in Germany. The streets 
he named after those in St. Louis. From an early 

plat book, we quote, "Strasburg has 150 souls, and 
was platted March 7, 1874, by Charles Ostermeier." 
The original plat of Strasburg was east of the "slab." 
The land west of the road was prairie and was 
farmed for a number of years. 

The first money crop around Strasburg was 
wheat. At one time special trains were run to town 
during harvest. As time went on most of the marsh 
land was reclaimed and made tillable by tiling. 
Around Strasburg it's not uncommon to find a 
farm with as much as two or three miles of tile. 

Ostermeier's store, and Strasburg itself, pros- 

The first building to be put up after Strasburg 
was laid out was Allen's Hotel, run by R. H. and 
A. F. Allen, and located where Max Weber now 
lives. Frank Beck was first postmaster. W. D. Fink 
was first blacksmith, and William Telgman moved 
his brick yard in from a few miles out of. town and 
established himself as first in the brick making 
business. Other first businessmen were: druggist- 
J. H. Wiandt; general merchant-Martin Hamm, 
Storm, Henry Faster, Sr.; wagon shop-R. Rolbiger; 
sawmill-W. Bowen; grain dealer-J. D. Endicott; 
doctor-Dr. Amos York; shoemaker-Wm. Winkler; 
saloon-M. J. Laughlin; hotel and saloon-A. F. Van 

The town of Strasburg was incorporated in 
1882, and Beulah Gordon records that story: 
After the Lutheran Church was built at its present 
site about a quarter of a mile south of Strasburg, 
some citizens began to agitate for moving the 
business houses there. Lawrence Zerr, then post- 
master, took his postoffice to that section, and a 
store, drug store, saloon, and grain buying office 
soon were established in "South Burg." This rival 
of the original town was just over the line in 
Prairie Township. Citizens of "North Burg" 
sensing the danger that threatened, decided to 
incorporate the town and exclude the upstart 
"South Burg" from its limits. Secret meetings 
were held in the garret over the blacksmith shop, 
and ways and means were plotted and discussed. 
Here it was brought to light that thirty votes were 
needed to carry the measure, and that "North Burg" 
had only twenty-eight citizens to support it, while 
"South Burg" had thirty citizens who would vote 
it down. After some thought, Ostermeier and his 
followers schemed a scheme, and cautiously set 
about to execute it. Three young fellows from the 
country were induced to bring their washings to 
"North Burg," spend their Sundays in that place, 
and thus establish a legal residence there. When the 
specified time had elapsed and the three were bona 
fide citizens of the village, and North Burgers 
demanded a vote on the matter of incorporation, 
and strange to say, triumphantly won the election 
by the majority of one ballot. (In the town board 
records of November 4, 1878, $20.00 was paid to 
Mouser and Kelley "for their services in assisting 
to incorporate the village of Strasburg.") 

Strasburg Businesses listed 1918 from Prairie 
Farmer's Directory of Shelby Co. 

Beck, C.C General Store 

Beck, Earl Restaurant 

Bernhard Milling Co. 

Duling & Bauer Blacksmith 

Engel, W. W Hardware 

Engel, J. L. & F. T Hardware & Implements 

Faster, Edw. H Autos 

Figge, Louis Harness 

Green, 0. A Autos 

Hasemeier, Henry Meats 

Kircher, Chris General Store 

More, The Lay, Co. 

Nippe, Chas Sawmill 

dinger & Bartlett Creamery 

Pfeiffer, J. C. & Co Lumber & Undertaker 

Quicksa'll, J. A Jewelry & Publisher 

Rankin, Ed Garage 

Seaman, J. H Drugs 

Seaman, S. E Millinery 

Spannagel, Wm Blacksmith 

Stierwalt & Backenstow Hardware 

Storm, Mrs. Anna B Millinery 

Swinghart, W. E Meats 

Weber, J. E. & Co General Store 

Wiandt, J. H Grocer 

York, E. M Clothing 

Young, A. W Hardware & Grain 

Beulah Gordon again writes of Strasburg in 
the 1930's: Strasburg's population is 418. Busi- 
nessmen of the town are: E. M. York, Clothing 
Store and Restaurant; G. C. York, General Garage; 
M. R. Storm, General Store; T. A. Weber and Sons, 
General Store; 0. 0. Kull, General Store; William 
Swigert, Garage; Gaylord Ulmer, Grocery; L. R. 
Hamm, Restaurant; J. A. Quicksall, Drugs and 
Jewelry; H. M. York, Barber; A. C. Duling, Black- 
smith; Bryan Renshaw, Shoe Repairs; Alvin Kear- 
ney, Flour, Feed and Hardware; Louis Figge, 
Harness Shop; C. E. Bingaman, Cream Buyer; 
Martin Pfeiffer, Lumber and Undertaking; Paul 
Rincker, Buyer of Poultry, Eggs, and Cream; W. W. 
Engel, Hardware and Implements; C. C. Beck, 
General Store; F. F. Yakey, Elevator; F. H. Falk, 
Grain Buyer; Gilbert Ulmer, Hatchery; and John 
Biehler, Hatchery. The town has one newspaper. 
Physicians are Dr. Risser and Dr. F. W. Schroeder. 
Most of the businessmen have been in business in 
town for from twenty-five to sixty years. 

The Strasburg Chamber of Commerce was 
active in promoting the growth of the town, and 
was a determining factor in bringing Route 16 
through Richland township. It's recorded that their 
fight to accomplish this objective was carried to the 
Governor's office before it was finally won. Dr. 
Schroeder was president of this group for many 

The Strasburg Homestead Association (Build- 
ing and Loan Association) was organized in 1894 
with Dr. Amos York as its first president and Alf 
Allen, secretary. Beulah Gordon writes in 1934 
about this organization, saying it has a remarkable 
record. This association was responsible for build- 
ing half of the town. During the first forty years 
of its existence, it had but one foreclosure. 
Officers in 1934 were G. C. York, president, and 
George E. Kull, secretary. 

Board directors of this loan association have 

included: Bill Telgman, Martin Hamm, Harry 
York, Joe Kull, Lauren Hamm, George E. Kull, 
Merle Buesking, G. C. York, 0. O. Kull, Ruby 
Templeton, Roscoe Hash, and Bill Juhnke. 

Directors remember transacting business in 
Martin Hamm's Office, and in later years, using the 
bank for meetings. 

The loan association was liquidated on Octo- 
ber 1 7, 1 960. At this time 0. 0. Kull was president, 
and Ruby Templeton was the secretary. 

Although some of the church fathers in the 
early days of Strasburg 's history did not approve of 
insurance, especially life insurance, there have been 

insurance agents in our community for years. The 
first agents in Strasburg were probably Martin 
Hamm and Henry Faster. Bob Faster also sold 
insurance after World War I. For thirty-one years, 
beginning in 1935, Max Weber was selling insurance 
in our community. Wm. Engel also handled 
insurance. George E. Kull sold insurance for more 
than twenty-five years until he went into the post 
office in 1934. Merle Buesking took over Mr. 
Kull's insurance business, and he handled the same 
companies until 1966. Rudolph Kull, insurance 
agent, mentioned these past salesmen in our com- 
munity: Jim Kull, Reuben Spannagel, and Henry 

Silver Threads Among the Gold 


August Doeding was born January 24, 1889, 
the son of Fred Doeding, Sr. and Sophia Lading 
Doeding. Both parents came from Germany. He 
was born and reared on a farm west of St. Paul's 
Cemetery. He was one of a family of six children. 

In 1918 August married Rose Doehring. They 
had two sons, Donald and Edwin. There are eight 

August has farmed all his life. He and Rose 
began housekeeping on the farm Wilbur Cress now 
lives on. There Doedings remained until 1951 
when they moved to their present home east of 

August is remembered by many for his musical 
abilities. He's played in several area orchestras. 

August Doeding 

Mae Krile (1968) 


Mae Krile was born on a farm near Hazelton, 
Gibson County, Indiana. She was one of Henry 
and Minerva Peterson Field's eleven children. 

When Mae visited Illinois relatives, she met 
Charles Krile, and they were married in 1903. The 
Kriles raised four children: Elmer of Windsor, Fred 
of Windsor, Emma Schrimpf of Strasburg, and 
Gertrude Biehler of Shelbyville. Her family 
includes six grandchildren, fifteen great grand- 
children, and three great great grandchildren. 

In the Krile's early married life, they lived 
in Strasburg, and Charles Krile was in the hardware 
business with Ed Kircher. After he sold out to 
Kircher, they farmed until 1961. That year they 
moved to Shelbyville to retire. In 1962 Charles 
Krile passed away. 

Mae enjoys attending Senior Citizens meet- 
ings at Strasburg where she spent the greater part of 
her life. 


The Ed Bueskings have raised three children: 
Kenneth of Strasburg, Glen at home, and Rosadelle 
Nalefski of Decatur. There are four grandchildren 
and one great grandchild in the family. 

Ed Buesking was born in 1889 on a farm at 
the southeast edge of Strasburg. He was the 
youngest son of Henry and Sophia Altag. In 1918, 
at the St. Paul's Parsonage, he married Odelia 
Rincker, daughter of C. Martin Rincker and Louisa 
Kull of Herborn. Odelia was born in 1889. She 
had two sisters. 

Ed has farmed all his life. They lived on the 
Buesking homeplace; then in 1925 they moved to 
their present farm in Herborn. 

Ed and Odelia Buesking as they appeared in 1957. 


Bill Collins was born in 1889 of Mary Pikesh 
and Dan Collins. He has one brother, Virgil, and 
two sisters, Rosetta Fling and Stella Hellman. He 
has always lived near Strasburg, doing farmwork all 
of his life. 

In 1947 Bill moved to his present home north- 
west of Strasburg. 

He recalls farmwork of yesterday — shucking 
corn by hand and driving calves and hogs over open 

Bill Collins (1971) 


Fred Popendieker was born in 1889 in Stras- 
burg where Ivan Keller's home is now. His parents 
were August and Minnie Doeding Popendieker. 
Fred has one brother and two sisters. 

In 1934 he married Lillie Vogel, and the 
couple had three sons: Walter of Pittsburg, Penn., 
Harry in Mattoon, and August of Indianapolis. His 
wife passed away in 1964. 

Fred Popendieker has been a carpenter all his 
life, most recently in the Mattoon area. His father, 
August Popendieker, was one of the early prominent 
carpenters of Strasburg. Fred presently divides his 
time between his Strasburg residence in the south- 
east part of town, and the home of son Harry in 

Fred Popendieker in 1913. 


Martha Bauer was born and raised in the 
Gustav Schroeder home in south Strasburg right 
"across from the parsonage." Her parents, both 
from Germany, moved to Strasburg from St. Louis 
in 1876. Gustav was the community shoemaker. 
Martha was born to a family of eleven, six boys and 
five girls. She remembers helping at home, also at 
her father's shoemaking and flour selling business 
uptown. Martha recalls babysitting for the Henry 
Fasters when she was only seven years old. Taking 
care of two children in those days made her one 
cent a day. 

Martha attended St. Paul's school. At the age 
of twenty-one, she wed Andy Bauer. They farmed 
on the Bauer farm north of town and Martha 
remained there after her husband's death in 1957. 
She has two children, Arthur of Atlanta, Ga., and 
Eugene of Mattoon. Her family also includes four 
grandchildren and two great grandchildren. 

Martha Bauer's wedding picture taken in December, 1909. 
Her dress, made by Nita Schroeder, was of fine material at 
25tf a yard. 

Viola Ruff - taken in the 1930's. 


Viola Ruff is the daughter of George and 
Sophia Beery Weber. She was born near Herborn 
in 1887, the youngest of a family of thirteen 

Viola cared for her mother until her death, 
and in 1906, she married Dan Ruff, and they lived 
in Strasburg. They were the parents of three: 
Mabel Lading, Clarence, deceased, and Lucille 
Thomas. There are nine grandchildren, and twenty- 
five great grandchildren. 

Viola has been an expert in handiwork. She 
has been an active church member all her life. 
She is the only surviving charter member of St. 
Paul's Ladies Aid. She belongs to Home Extension, 
and enjoys Senior Citizens meetings. 


Fred and Nora Lenz bought their first farm in 
1927 south and east of Windsor, and they still reside 

Fred Lenz was one of the twelve children of 
John Lenz and Caroline Tiemann Lenz. He was 
born in 1885 on the Lenz farm one mile east of 
town. He attended St. Paul's Church and was con- 
firmed there in 1899. He married Nora McFadden 
in 1910 at the Grace Lutheran parsonage with 
Louis Lenz and Erma Newman serving as attendants. 
Miss McFadden was born in 1888 at Ashmore to 
Isaac McFadden and Aldaline Florence Moore 
McFadden. She had one brother and four sisters. 

The Lenzs first lived on the Becker farm east 
of Strasburg. They raised five children: Yyonna 
Thomason, Glafa Ohm, Glenn, Roy, and lola 
Bartimus. Two daughters died in 1929. Their 
family now includes eight grandchildren and three 
great grandchildren. 

Fred and Nora Lenz on their 60th wedding anniversary in 



Emilie Lenz was born in 1883, the daughter 
of Fred Doeding, Sr. and Sophia Lading Doeding. 
Both parents came from Germany. She was born 
and reared on a farm west of St. Paul's Cemetery. 

As a young girl, she was one of the many 
Strasburg girls who did housework away from 

In 1907, she married John Lenz who farmed, 
and there were two children: Orville of Strasburg, 
and Ruby Reel, deceased. The family includes 
two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. 

The Lenzes observed their 61st wedding anni- 
versary in 1967. In 1968 John Lenz passed away. 


Ethel Duncan was born in 1881 in a log house 
south of Windsor, near the present Russell Carr 
home. She was one of five children of Berry and 
Mary Elizabeth Renner Barker, both of whom were 
raised near Strasburg. Before she was a year old, 
the family moved to the home where most of her 
childhood was spent - west and south of Richland 
Cemetery. She attended Whitlatch, Strasburg 
School, (while working in the Strasburg Hotel) 
and the Shelbyville School. 

"Miss Barker" taught at Richland, Zalman, 
Sexton Corner, and in the Strasburg grades, for a 
total of nine years. 

In 1910 she and Edward Duncan were married 
in Springfield. They had one daughter, Gretchen. 
After her husband passed away in 1957, Ethel 
remained on the Duncan Homestead until 1970 
when she went to live with her daughter, Mrs. 
George Schumacker of near Shelbyville. Now she 
resides in the Nursing Care Area of the Shelby 
County Memorial Hospital. 

Ethel Duncan was a charter member of the 
Shelby County Home Bureau. She enjoyed 
traveling and she even went to Hawaii during her 
eightieth year. 

There are two granddaughters and a great 
grandson in the family. 

Martin Buesking (1957) 

Ethel (Barker) Duncan, seated at right, as she appeared 


Martin Buesking was born in 1886 on a farm 
at the southeast edge of town. His parents, Henry 
Buesking and Sophia Altag, had six boys and two 
girls. Martin helped farm at home, and later he 
farmed for Tobe Kull. He remembers that his pay 
amounted to $15.00 per month for farm work. 
Martin has also been employed at the livery barn, 
done carpentering, and clerked for Chris Kircher. 
He farmed for August Doehring, on his own home- 
place, and north of town on the Spannagel land — 
for a total of thirty-four years. In 1957 he and his 
wife retired from farming and moved into Strasburg 
where he lost his wife, the former Bessie Spannagel, 
in 1964. 

The Martin Bueskings raised eight children: 
Merle of Strasburg, Vera Doehring of Strasburg, 
Delores Van Scyoc of Mattoon, Harold of Mattoon, 
Lorene Mayhew of Florida, Mildred Rincker of 
Strasburg, Floyd of Texas, and Ralph of Strasburg. 
There are twenty grandchildren, thirty great grand- 
children, and one great great grandchild. 


Martha Green was born in 1889 on a farm west 
of town. She was the daughter of Tom and Emma 
Tendler Lading. 

The Lading family lived at different places in 
our area, and in 1907 they moved to Fairfield 
where Martha met her future husband Oscar Green. 
Although the Greens moved to' Oregon, and the 
Ladings returned to Strasburg, Martha and Oscar 
remained in contact and they were wed in 1911. 
They lived in Strasburg. In 1929 they built the 
brick home where Martha still lives. 

0. A. Green passed away shortly before they 
would have observed their golden anniversary. 
There are one son Lowell, two granddaughters, and 
three great grandchildren. 

Martha Green (1961) 

Sophie Lenz as a young girl. 


The daughter of Herman and Lena Mueller 
Doehring, Mary Ulmer was born in 1885. 

As an eighteen year old bride of Martin Ulmer, 
Mary set up housekeeping on the Ulmer homestead. 
She has lived there ever since. The Ulmers had five 
children: Aurora Peyer of Kewanee, Floyd of 
Peoria, Ralph of Strasburg, Fawn Opal Benson of 
Joliet, and Maurice, deceased. There are thirteen 
grandchildren, and - fourteen great grandchildren 
in the family. Mary is active in St. Paul's Lutheran 
Ladies' Aid, and belongs to Home Extension. 


Sophia Lenz was born of Henry and Augusta 
Nippe Lenz near Strasburg on a farm in 1878. 
There were six children in the family. When her 
father died, Sophia and her mother remained on 
the farm until 1935 when they moved into Stras- 

In her youth, Sophia worked away from home 
doing housework for others. Many in surrounding 
towns preferred Strasburg girls for house help. 
Sophia was an excellent seamstress, did beadwork, 
punch work, crocheting, embroidery, and quilting. 

Sophia cared for her mother until her death 
in 1949 at the age of 93. 

Presently Sophia is 95, and she resides at the 
Shelbyville Restorium. 

Mary Ulmer 


Born in Hebron, Nebraska, Iva Summers was 
the daughter of John and Melinda White Young. 
She is the only survivor of nine children. 

Iva was wed in 1909 to David Allen Summers, 
and they began housekeeping in Nebraska. After a 
move to Indiana, in 1926 they settled in Paula, 
III. where Mr. Summers operated a grain elevator 
until 1960. He died in 1962. 

Iva Summers had two duaghters: Ruby Grider 
of Oklahoma, and Ruth Haskell, Strasburg. Since 
1972 she has made her home near Strasburg with 
her daughter Ruth. She has four grandchildren, 
nine great grandchildren, and two great, great 

She is active and enjoys attending Senior 
Citizens in Strasburg. 


Minnie Kasang, youngest child of John and 
Henrietta Rosine Kasang, was born in 1883. She 
attended Prairie Hall English School, and confir- 
mation classes at St. Paul's in Strasburg. Her 
mother was born in Germany. Her boat trip to 
American took three months. 

Minnie's father was also born in Germany. He 
married Henrietta Rosine in Chicago and they 
settled in Shelby County, buying land from the 
Central Illinois Railroad. Their farm south of 
Strasburg is where their daughter Minnie still lives. 

Minnie Kasang 

Sophia Spannagel - taken in the 1940' 


Sophia Spannagel's parents were Henry 
Duensing and Wilhelmina Friese. Sophia was born 
in Stewardson on December 26, 1877. There were 
two boys and two girls in the Duensing family. In 
1901, Sophia married Reuben Spannagel, and most 
of their life they farmed. 

They observed their 50th wedding anniversary 
together. Since her husband's death, Sophia has 
lived with her children. 

Sophia's family consists of three children: 
Pearl Kull, Strasburg, Emma Jerusalem of Chicago, 
and Luella Hauer in Tennessee. There are two 
grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and two 
great, great grandchildren in the family. 


Henry Kull, eldest child of James and Lucinda 
Weber Kull, was born in 1884 on a farm south of 
Strasburg. There were eleven children in the Kull 

Rosetta Staehli Kull was born of Swiss parents 
in 1888 at Pioneer, Washington. There were five 
children in the Staehli family. They came to the 
Strasburg area in 1898. 

Henry and Rose have three children, Ruby 
Hudson of Mesa, Arizona, and Carl and Merl who 
own a hardware store in Strasburg. There are seven 
grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. 

Wedding day for the Kulls was February 16, 
1908. They were wed at the home of her parents 
west of Strasburg. All thirty invited guests attended 
in spite of three degrees below zero temperature 
with ten inches of snow on top of two inches of 

The Henry Kulls lived on the James Kull farm 
for forty years. In 1949 they moved to Rose's 
home place, and here they still reside. 

The family is noted for several things, among 
which are their musical abilities, Rose's excellent 
cooking, and Henry's checker playing 


Lizzie Giertz (1960) 


C. A. Lichtenwalter and his wife, the former 
Erma Sands, have raised seven children: Fern 
Lankam of Indiana; Laurance, deceased; Inez Huff 
of Clinton; Kenneth in Dallas, Texas; Charles in 
Denver; Maxine Jenks of Indiana; and Norma Jean 
Outhouse in Mattoon. There are twenty grand- 
children and twenty-one great grandchildren. 

Chester was born in 1885 near Brownstown. 
His parents were John and America Pilcher 

When about nineteen years old, he went into 
the grocery store business with his brothers in 
Westervelt. Later he was owner. During the 
depression, the business failed, and Chester 
remembers burning bushels of accounts and notes 
that his customers couldn't pay. Chester has 
farmed and has operated several different businesses. 
He came to Strasburg in 1939, and purchased the 
farm south of town that the Lichtenwalters still 
live on. When he moved here, Chester brought with 
him four milk cows, thirty head of pigs, four old 
horses, and a "little" machinery. 

Rose and Henry Kull as they celebrated their 50th wedding 
anniversary in 1958. 


Lizzie Giertz was born in 1883 in Strasburg. 
Charles Ostermeier was her father, and her mother 
was an Altag. Lizzie's grandfather, Charles Oster- 
meier, plotted the town of Strasburg, having given 
the original forty acres to the town with one 
provision - that the village be named Strasburg 
after his own hometown of Strasburg, Germany. 
Lizzie had three brothers and one sister. 

In 1907 Lizzie married William Burkhart, a 
Shelbyville farmer, but she was soon left a widow 
wrth two baby girls, Mary and Bernadine. Her 
second husband was Frank Giertz. To them were 
born Herman and Frank, both of whom now live in 
Arizona. Lizzie's family includes six grandchildren 
and five great grandchildren. 

Lizzie lived in Strasburg most of her life, and 
helped countless families in the area with household 
chores. She now resides in the Lakeland Nursing 
home at Effingham. 

Chester Lichtenwalter as a young man. 


Addie Richards was the daughter of Ludlow 
A. and Sophronia Jane Skidmore Gaston. She was 
born in 1882 in Butler Co., Kansas. Her parents 
returned to Illinois when she was three years old 
and lived in the Mattoon and Windsor areas, and at 
one time in the Lincoln Cabin. She was one of a 
family of seven children. 

In 1904 she married Joe Richards and since 
1910 they lived near Whitlatch school, and that is 
her old home. Her husband was killed by lightning 
on May 20, 1925, while working in the field. For 
twenty-seven years she worked for the E. R. Cooks 
in Evanston. There are four children: Everett of 
Farmer City, Earl of Blue Island, Helen Grove of 
Shelbyville,and Laveta Helton of Effingham. There 
are sixteen grandchildren and twenty-one great 
grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild. 

Addie recalls hearing how her father lit Aunt 
Sarah Bush Lincoln's pipe many times. Her grand- 
father was killed in the Civil War. Her father's two 
brothers are buried in Shiloh Cemetery. 

Addie Richards 

'Grow old along with me, The best is yet to be' 

Town Board History and Records 

It was recorded that the first town meeting 
was held in the Town Hall in Strasburg in 1873, 
however, earliest board minutes date from 1877. 

On December 26, 1877, at a town election, 
the following village trustees were elected: Charles 
Ostermeier, Lawrence Zerr, J. J. Wilson, J. H. 
Wiandt, A. F. Van Rheeden, and A. F. Allen. A. F. 
Allen is on record later as president of the board. 
First meeting was held at the schoolhouse, and 
first business of this board included issuing liquor 
licenses for $90.00 per year to Lawrence Zerr and 
A. F. Van Rheeden. 

In 1878 the "calaboose" was built at a cost of 
529.39 with J. Wiandt in charge. In this same 
year, Strasburg had employed J. N. Storm as 
marshall, but he only lasted one day in his job. 
He was dismissed because he was found to be 
ineligible for the office. One project during this 
year was installing sidewalks, to be made of hickory, 
oak, and pine. Hitchracks were put up, and the 
village dug ditches on both sides of Main Street 
from the "public road" east to the railroad. 

Roads were graded in October, 1883, and it 
was decided to plant one shade tree on each lot of 
the A. F. Van Rheeden addition. $110.00 was 
allowed for the shade tree planting project. The 
ordinance relating to sidewalks was amended so as 
to read as follows: Sidewalks must be built of 
sound oak or pine lumber not less than one inch 
in thickness and sleepers to be two by four inches. 

In February, 1886, six street lamps were pur- 
chased for $34.75, and later in March, coal oil, 
wicks, and globes for the street lamps were bought! 

Strasburg cared for the needy by authorizing one 
dollar to be paid for four meals for tramps. John 
Ebmeier was paid $1.50 for one and one-half days 
labor on sidewalks. 

A committee was appointed to see about drill- 
ing a public' well in July, 1890. It was also agreed 
at this time that the cows of the village should be 
kept up at night. 

In 1890 the town board paid $28.00 for a 
coffin made by C. Beery for a charity case. 

A petition signed by forty-nine citizens was 
presented in 1891 to appropriate $1000.00 to 
School District No. 6 of Strasburg to help build a 
schoolhouse if the district would turn over old 
schoolhouse to village for a town hall. In this 
same year A. F. Van Rheeden was granted a pool 
hall license at $12.00 per year per table. 

In 1892 and 1893 Beery 's plot of Strasburg 
was accepted, also Louisa Van Rheeden's plot and 
Clara A. Kircher's plot. 

In 1900 it was decided to accept lawrence 
Zerr's proposition to furnish bricks for sidewalks. 
Labor on the walks was fixed at twelve and one- 
half cents per hour, actual time put in, counting 
nine hours per day. The President of the Board 
appointed special police for July 4th. In this 
same year J. C. Klump was marshall at $25.00 per 
month, and Bert Beck was appointed night watch- 
man at $5.00 monthly. 

In 1906 a concrete walk was to be built on 
the west side of town property. 

Shooting on the streets on New Years Eve 
and New Years Day was allowed in 1908. 

In 1909 the charge for platform dances within 
the city limits was $25.00 per day. 

A motion was made in 1912 to provide a 
watering trough at the well at the corner of the 
Dannenberg Building. 

A poll tax assessment for 1915 was fixed at 
$1.50 each able bodied male over age of twenty- 
one years, and under age fifty. This tax could be 
worked out for seventeen and one-half cents an 
hour for labor on streets and thirty cents an hour 
for team labor. 

Amusement places in town were closed in- 
definitely on account of smallpox in 1915. 

In 1916 came the first motion to apply oil 
supplied by businessmen to the streets. 

The bandstand was built in 1917. 

In June 1923 there was $68.75 paid to Prairie 
Electric Co. for lights. 

8lot machines were declared a nuisance in 
1927, and they were ordered taken out, as well as 
other games of chance. 

George Gill was paid $5.00 for plowing snow 
in March, 1939. In 1944, Wm. Faster received 
$25.00 for working on the Honor Roll. 

Alleys were to be sprayed, and the board 
declared a clean-up week in May, 1950. Taverns 

were closed this year from 12 o'clock on 3aturday 
night till 6 a.m. Monday. Donald Webner was 
appointed health officer for 1951. 

In 1961 there was a discussion on city water 
and drilling test well. In 1970 a discussion was 
held on the city sewage system. 

Strasburg's population in 1970 census was 

In 1971 the village gave a $3000.00 check to 
the Strasburg Community Building. 

Derry York requested annexation of his 80 
acres into the village and the attorney drew up 
papers in 1972. In this same year "3outh Burg" 
was annexed. 

These men have been Presidents of our village 
from the year 1877: A. F. Allen, Amos York, 
J. E-. Endicott, A. F. Van Rheeden, W. D. Fink, 
J. F. Martin, J. N. 3torm, J. F. Ulmer, J. C. Renner, 
Wm. 8pannagel, A. Figenbaum, S. A. $torm, F.W. 
Risser, Henry Faster, Jr., John Bauer, Wm. Telg- 
mann, C. C. Beck, Wm. W. Engel, August Metzler, 
A. W. Young, O. A. Green (for twenty years), 
Donald Webner (for sixteen years), H. A. Ulmer 
and C. E. Buesking. 

Present village board: (back row) Gerald Sporleader, Paul Juhnke, Robert Falk, Elmer Staehli, Darrell Cress. 
(Front row) Gene Kull, C. E. Buesking, President, Floyd Weber. 


Early Businesses 

As the need arose for certain goods or services, 
some enterprising individuals would start a store or 
shop to meet the demand. Over the years, numer- 
ous businesses grew up or came into town, flourish- 
ed for a while, and then passed into oblivion as 
owners moved away, died, or went out of business, 
or the demand for that particular product no longer 

There were several industries that contributed 
greatly to the life of the town before 1920. 

Bernhard Milling Co. bought wheat, corn, oats, 
and other grains, and manufactured and sold soft 
and hard wheat flour, corn meal, and feed. It 
was located in the old "red" mill that is now 
painted aluminum colored. 

In 1867 Wm. Telgman and his helper, 
Lawrence Zerr, came to Shelby Co. and started a 
brick yard and kiln. During the early years of the 
town, they moved their operation from the country 
to the tract of land now occupied by Webner 
Elevator, and there they made and sold brick to 
furnish the material for the construction of many 
of the local brick buildings in the downtown area. 

A couple of millinery shops provided 
local ladies with the latest fashions in hats or 
other wearing apparel, and were a means of liveli- 
hood for the women who operated them. Some 
of the proprietors were S. E. Seaman and Mrs. Anna 
B. Storm. 

Jewelry shops sold and repaired watches and 
many other fine pieces of jewelry. Patent medicines 
and home remedies could also be bought there. 
J. H. Seaman and J. A. Quicksall will be remember- 
ed as having jewelry stores. 

A weekly newspaper was published to carry 
the accounts of births, deaths, marriages, and all 
the other goings-on, as well as providing a means 
for the merchants to advertise their wares. This 
paper was started by J. A. Quicksall in the build- 
ing across the alley from the bank. 

There were usually no less than three general 
stores in town that bought poultry, eggs, butter or 
cream, and sold almost everything. Most items 
arrived at the store in wooden barrels, and some 
families shopped only once or twice a year buying 
flour, sugar, or molasses by the barrel. Other items 
that were sold in the bulk from the merchant's 
barrel were cookies, crackers, and vinegar. These 
stores also offered carpets, coal oil, stove pipes and 
polish, clothing, boots and shoes, and anything that 
was needed for the house or family. Some of the 
early well-known general grocers were J. E. Weber 
& Co., Chas. Beck, and Chris Kircher. These 
merchants all operated huckster wagons in the 
outlying community. 

In the center of town, the Livery Barn offered 
a young man a chance to rent a fancy buggy and 
horse to "spark" his favorite girl, ora "drummer" 
who arrived in town on the Wabash could get a rig 
for transportation to call on prospective customers 
in the countryside. Some school children from the 
country who attended school in town would leave 
their horses and buggies at the livery stable during 
the day, and thus rid themselves of the chore of 
unhitching and hitching up and feeding the animals 
at noon. It was built in the 1890's by J. N. Poe. 
The advent of the "horseless carriage" did away 
with the need for such services, and the building is 
now occupied by the Juhnke Feed Mill. 

Just as tractors need a spring overhaul and 
periodic maintenance, so the equipment for farm- 
ing with horses also had to be kept in good condi- 
tion. A harness shop stood for many years at the 
east end of Commerical Street, where harnesses and 
saddles were repaired, dipped, and made ready for 
the spring farm work. Louis Figge operated and 
owned this shop for many years. 

In the winter there was also a crop to be 
harvested. When the temperature dropped low 
enough to freeze ice to a depth of several inches, 
the ice was sawed into blocks, and hauled on sleds 
or wagons to the two ice houses. There it was 
packed in sawdust for insulation and stored away 
to be used the next summer. Ice was harvested 
from ponds in town and in the surrounding 
countryside. Two grocery stores, Kircher and 
Weber, had their own ice house in connection with 
their poultry houses. Poultry of all kinds was 
bought and here it was killed and dressed, packed 
in barrels with layers of ice to preserve it, hauled 
to the station, and shipped out on the train to the 
large cities. One of these combination poultry-ice 
houses was located in the building where Robert 
Falk has his repair shop, and the other stood south 
of the car wash. (In later years, Paul Rincker and 
son Roy had a poultry house located in the east 
block of Commercial Street, which was destroyed 
by fire a couple of years after it was bought by 
Wm. V. Juhnke & Sons.) 

Another product that brought income to the 
farmers was hay. Since there were no bailers 
available on the farms, the hay was bought loose 
and was hauled in to town where it was stored in 
two hay barns that were built near the railroad 
Here the hay was baled by a stationary bailer 
located in the barn, and was loaded into railroad 
cars and sold to out-of-town buyers. These barns 
both burned. One grain and hay dealer was A W 

There was once a thriving hotel business in 

town. It is reported that the first building erected 

(continued on page 21) 

*.-**** ! 


Farmers bringing in loose hay to be baled at Joe Falk's hay barn 


Alvin Kearney, left, and Abe Young, right, 
at Young's Elevator situated on present ball 

park third base line. The railroad track is 
in the background. 

Bernhard's mill and elevator as it was first constructed in Planing mill of John Ebmeier at east end of Commercial 

1883. This picture was taken by Dr. Risser. Street in 1910. 

Richland Co-op Creamery Go's Plant. Manu- 
facturers ot Sweet Clover brand creamery 
butter, awarded first premium at Illinois 
State Fair in 1905. John Ruff, president 
Ed Klump, secretary and treasurer, and H. L. 
Moore, butter maker. 

Strasburg House, hotel on Commercial 
Street, was located where the Beauty 
Box is now. Pictured are Mr. Starner, 
Ma Starner, Abe Young, Belle Young, 
Callie Young, Grace Young, and George 

Mr. Kircher and Martin Hamm, early businessmen in Original Weber Store Building. This structure was later 

Strasburg. moved to the site east of the old town house. 

Interior of J. E. Weber's Store in the early 
1900's. Mr. Weber is pictured second from 
the right. Albert Faster, on ladder, later 
was fatally burned in an explosion in the 

Abe Young and Alvin Kearney in Young's 
Coal and Grain at the east end of Commer- 
cial Street. 

Bill Altag, George E. Kull, and Elmer York 
in York's Clothing and Shoe Store located 
above the present York's Cafe. 

1898— Buying from Elmer York's huckster wagon, one mile 
south of Hazen's Corner at route 16. Pictured are Cassie 
Huffer, Francis Huffer, E. M. York, and Herrick Huffer. 

Oannenberg Building, Nuff Ced Saloon, and building later 
used by Engels. 

Kircher and Beck's Store, 
built from used materials 
from the 1893 Chicago World's 
Fair. Chris Kircher and Frank 
Beck are shown to the right. 

m jga '■ 



■ i|.„ 

Chris Kircher's Store in 1914. Pictured are 
Charlie Tendler and Martin Buesking. 

Frank York, barber, and Rebe Hudson in 
Strasburg's Barber Shop. 

Garage built by Sep Swigart 
and George E. Kull at the 
corner of Commercial Street 
and the main road, later to be 
route 32. Overland cars are 

Max Weber and Joe Schwarz atop a load of eggs, are 
headed for the refrigerated car on which the eggs will 
be shipped to New York or Boston. Old Renner is 
pulling the dray wagon. 

M. G. Ulmer in 1923 with tank truck. 

Commercial Street in the 1930'i 

(continued from page 14) 

after the town was established was Allen's Hotel, 
located where Max Weber's home now stands. 
Across the street from the livery stable, at the 
present site of the bank, a hotel provided a "home 
away from home" for visitors or weary travelers. 
Another well-known hotel, the Strasburg House, 
familiarly known as Ma "Steiners," was located 
about half a block east of there, next door to the 
present home of Lena Weber, and it, too, furnished 
food and lodging when it was needed. It is no 
wonder that these establishments always seemed to 
have plenty of business, as hotel bills then ran to 
$1.00 a week. 

Another such needed service was given by the 
dray wagon that carried freight and mail from the 
depot to the various stores or homes. Since all the 
merchandise came to town on the train, there was 
much demand for delivery wagons. C. E. Bingaman 
operated one of these for a long time. 

gallons of molasses were processed in one fall. 

At one time a canning factory was built east 
of the mill, and for a short time canned such items 
as cereals, tomatoes, and other vegetables or fruits. 
The raw products were bought by contract from 
farmers, and processed here. A salesman also 
traveled to sell the products. There is in existence 
at least one can of oatmeal that was canned by this 
factory while it was in operation. 

There was much wooded area around Strasburg, 
and also a need for lumber for putting up barns 
and cribs. A sawmill run by Chas. Nippe was 
located west of the home now owned and occupied 
by the David Durbin family. Here logs were sawed 
into boards and water tanks were also designed 
and made. 

A planing mill once occupied the Hobson 
Garage and one was also in the building that had 
been used for the engine factory. 

Wagons and buggies were the only vehicles 
available at one time, and some of them were made 
in a shop that was built on stilts on the low area 
just west of the post office. Louis Tendler built 
and repaired wagons in this building. A red brick 
building standing off the street near here was the 
place where gasoline engines were made. Could be 
a little competition arising there! 

Many farmers in the vicinity had a small field 
of cane, which was grown to provide molasses for 
table use in the home and for livestock feed. When 
the cane was mature, it was stripped of the leaves, 
headed, cut, and hauled to the sorghum mill in the 
north-east part of town, to be cooked down. At 
the peak of the season, the workers had to work 
long and hard hours, and it was reported that 2500 

Before the Prohibition Era, the places where 
liquor was sold were known as saloons. These 
enjoyed a lively business and paid the village a sub- 
stantial tax for the privilege. A. F. Van Rheeden 
was one of the well-known early saloon keepers. 

One of the early creameries was located north 
of the Standard Oil tanks, and was operated by 
Olinger and Bartlett. They bought cream from 
farmers and made butter to be sold locally or 
shipped to city markets. Most of the farm wives 
kept their homes going on the butter and egg 
money, and sometimes had a little extra for savings. 
The building occupied by Burl Hobson was also 
used as a creamery. 

Shindigs and Sociables 

The younger generation asks now, "What did 
you do before television?" and "What did you do 
for fun?" 

In the "good old days" the people of Stras- 
burg were always busy, but they did find time for 
fun. One entertainment which attracted large 
audiences in town was the medicine show. A troup 
toured the countryside in wagons, stopping for an 
evening or two in each small village. Sometime 
during the night's performance, the "Medicine 
show man" peddled his wares throughout the 
crowd. Usually a ten ounce bottle of this cure-all 
would cost one dollar. It was guaranteed to cure 
almost every ailment known to mankind . . . 
rheumatism, gout, corns, bunions, and woman's 
ailments. The high alcoholic content of the 
"medicine" may have contributed to its successes. 
In later years, medicine shows came to town by 
car, and they pitched their tent north of the 
present ball diamond. Oldsters recall boxes of 

Mrs. Risser and daughters Nita and Etta, go for a sleigh ride. 
1894-Dr. Risser's office is at right, and his family's 
living quarters are at left. 

candy with a hidden valuable in one of the boxes. 
The customer who purchased the lucky box got 
the prize, but like most drawing contests, no one 
ever seemed to get the big prize. 

Occasionally a small circus would come to 
town. A trained pony, a talented pig, or a trick 
dog would be the featured performer for an 
evening's performance. 

First community homecomings were held on 
the Fourth of July, and these were big affairs. The 
balloon ascension was a major attraction. A pit was 
dug and a fire was built. The balloon material was 
placed over the pit, and hot gases filled it. Finally 
it was ready to ascend! The rider sat on a trapeze 
under the balloon, the ropes were cut, and up he 
went! After a short ride, the performer usually 
jumped via parachute just after releasing the air 
which allowed the balloon to descend to the 
ground. Once the parachutist landed on the top of 
what is now Renshaw's Store. This was quite a 
thrill because all feared the flying fellow would 
land on the hard roof. Traffic was stopped, all 
eyes looked upward, and everyone breathed a sigh 
of relief when the parachutist landed safely on the 

During the twenties as airplanes became more 
common, barnstorming planes would land in near- 
by fields and charge for riders in the new-fangled 

Many remember Frank Hoese's act at a July 
Fourth celebration. He walked the high wire 
across Commercial Street. The wire was from an 
upper window in Weber's Store to a restaurant 
building across the way. 

Strasburg had band concerts for years. Every 

Thursday evening the band played at the round 
bandstand which stood west of the present Com- 
munity Building. 

Around 1917-1918 the Metzler brothers ran a 
movie house on the east side of Commercial Street. 
It was open three or four times a week. A long 
movie and a serial, perhaps one starring Pearl White, 
would be shown. A local girl would be at the piano, 
playing appropriate musical accompaniment for 
villains and heroes of the evening's show. With the 
advent of "talkies", the movie house discontinued 
business. Later local merchants donated money 
and free shows were presented on the streets to 
citizens. This entertainment was continued until 
the 1950's. 

For the more educationally minded a chance 
to attend a chatauqua was offered. Plays and 
speakers were the main feature of this event. It was 
held in a tent on the site of the present ballpark. 
Lyceum courses were also presented in town. A 
two dollar season ticket would be good for several 
programs featuring famous performers. 

Strasburg has always been a ball town. Even 
in the early 1900's the town boasted a traveling 
team which won many games. Emert Weber, 
Roscoe Renshaw, Fred Doehring, Martin Mueller, 
and Bert Wiandt were some of Strasburg's ball- 
players. Rural as well as town diamonds were the 
scene of many Sunday games. There were no 
lights, so games were played during the heat of the 
day. Owners of the ball diamonds often set up 
lemonade stands at the scene, and made a little 
money on the side. 

Strasburgians ice skated in the winter and roller 
(continued on page 24) 

A snowball fight in 1909 north of the 
public school building. 

Strasburg Ball Team, back row: Edmond Diepholz, Fred Nippe, Fred Doeding, Theo. Von 
Behren. Middle row: Charlie Ostermeier, Arnold Diepholz, August Doeding, Martin 
Mueller. Bottom row: Roscoe Renshaw, Herman Diepholz. 

1950 Girl's Softball Team sporting new uniforms. Back row: Manager Os Hood, Rose Von Behren, Neva Buesking, Alice 
Daniels, Retha Buesking, Grace Spannagel, Rosemary Schultz. Front row: Lill Wittenberg, Bertha Blythe, Emily Mulvaney, 
Jeanne Schultz, Lela Mulvaney, Nancy Boyer. Not pictured: Dorothy Reel, Doris Reel, and Marilyn Brehmer. 

(continued from page 22) 

skated in the summer. The Old Mill Pond was a 
favorite meeting place for ice skating. For several 
years, a roller rink run by Gay York was located 
just west of the present York's Cafe. 

Other recreational activities in Strasburg s 
early history included a race track, pool rooms, 
and a bowling alley. The bowling alley, located in 
the J. J. Kull Building that Roger Rentfro owns 
now, was a thriving business during World War I. 
At one time the alley was in the upstairs of the 
building, and for some years it was in operation on 
the ground floor of the structure. Babe Storm is 
reported to be the first owner. Ben Kull also ran 
the bowling alley, and Dan Noffke was the last 
alley operator in town. 

Early town records indicate that platform 
dances were held in town. Permits were issued, 
and platforms were built on which dancers danced 

to the tunes of local fiddlers. In the surrounding 
territory, farmers held barn dances in their empty 
haylofts during the summer months. In later years, 
town halls, above where Rentfro's Recreation 
Center is now and Renshaw's Store stands, were 
used for dances. 

Strasburg, like other communities, had Com- 
munity Clubs which met in local schoolhouses. 
Some participants gave readings; others sang or 
played instruments, and the more ambitious pre- 
sented three-act plays at these programs. Pie and 
box suppers were held also. The local swains bid 
against each other, and the highest bidder got to 
eat with the girl who had brought the box or pie. 

Despite all the "fun", people of early Stras- 
burg never forgot their churches, and it was a rare 
family who did not dress up on Sunday morning 
to attend local services or load up the wagon and 
surries to attend a nearby revival meeting. 

Medical History 

In 1974 the citizens of Strasburg must go 
elsewhere to seek the help of a doctor, but this 
has not always been the case. Births, toothaches, 
backaches, cases of grippe, appendicitis, bursitis, 
influenza, injuries, and childhood diseases — all 
were cases for the respected community doctor — 
the doctor who made house calls — the gentleman 
with the little black bag. This dedicated servant of 
people who gave our forefathers hope and relief 
in times of pain and sickness - this type of doctor 
is forever gone. 

At least three doctors spent years in our village 
— namely, Dr. Amos York, Dr. Fred Risser, and 
Dr. Fred Schroeder. 

Born and raised on a farm near Tuscola, Dr. 

Dr. Amos York 

Dr. York at his office which was located north of where 
Youngscraft Mfg. Co. is on Commercial Street. This 
picture was taken by Dr. Risser around 1900. 

York came to Strasburg after a colleague of his 
who was about to set up practice in Shumway, 
highly recommended Strasburg as a place to hang 
out his shingle. Dr. York's friend wrote in June, 
1875, "The country around Strasburg is rolling - 
good roads and plenty of them. There is a very 
heavy settlement - good houses - well improved 
farms and in small tracts. The town has four stores, 
one schoolhouse, no doctor, but has a large 

territory I think it a number one location 

for a fellow that wanted to get into a practice 
soon and think you could not do much better." 

Dr. York took his friend's advice and came 
to Strasburg immediately, sending for his family 
later. He doctored here til 1909. 

An excerpt from his diary indicates that he 
first stayed at Ma Starner's Hotel, paying $1.00 a 
week. On one occasion, when Ma Starner was called 
as midwife and her husband was sick, she asked the 
doctor to stay with the sick man while she was 
away. He agreed to do so for the $8.00 fee she 
was beating him out of. As it turned out, neither 
she nor the doctor collected any fee. 

After his family arrived, Dr. York's office 
and home was just north of the brick building 
where the Dale Young Mfg. Co. is now located. 

Dr. York has three grandchildren still in 
Strasburg: Mildred Hash, Dale York, and Aurora 

Dr. and Mrs. Fred Risser - 1918. 

Dr. Fred W. Risser was born in Troy, Illinois, 
where his father was a merchant. At the age of 16 
he passed the examination to teach school and 
taught for four years, all the while studying 
medicine during his vacations. In the fall of 1882 
he entered Barnes Medical School in St. Louis, 
where he graduated in 1886. When looking for a 
suitable place to start practicing, he was charmed 
by the countryside in and around Strasburg, and so 
took up his residence here. His office was first 
built on a small corner plot in South Strasburg, 
just north of the St. Paul's teacherage and across 
the street from the old Ferdinand Kull Store. He 
married Mary Doehring, a local young lady, and 
then bought a large plot of ground farther uptown. 
The building was moved to this location and served 
as office and home, for the family for ten years, 
until the familiar brick house, "The Risser Home", 
was built south of it in 1896. The frame building 
continued to serve as office and drug room for as 
long as he practiced medicine. 

Dr. Risser was a scholarly man, interested in 
many other topics besides his medicine. During 
the fifty-one years he practiced in Strasburg, many 
changes took place and the good doctor was always 
"in on" things. Before phone service was installed 
in town, Dr. Risser helped put in a telegraph line 
from his own home to the Schroeder house in 
South Strasburg and they could communicate by 
Morse Code. The first telephone switchboard was 
operated by Dr. Risser's daughters, Etta and Rosa, 
in their home. 

Dr. Risser kept colonies of bees, did crochet- 
ing and knitting, could sew a fine seam, and was a 
professional photographer. Many families still own 
their forefathers' studio portraits made by "Risser 
of Strasburg". 

Members of the Risser family sometimes 
accompanied the doctor on his visits to patients 
throughout the countryside. At first Dr. Risser 
traveled in his horse drawn buggy; later he drove 
a touring car to the homes of the sick. 

During the flu epidemic of 1917-1918, Drs. 
Risser, Schroeder, and Knowles made "rounds", 
and they would treat each other's patients if they 
happened to be in the neighborhood. The doctors 
were sorely overworked, and there were very few 
homes where someone was not suffering. 

A special service at St. Paul's Church honored 
Dr. Risser on the occasion of the 50th anniversary 
in his medical profession. The following year his 
sudden death shocked the community. 

Etta and Rosa, daughters of Dr. F. Risser, 
prepared their family home and opened it to those 
who needed love and care. Their first patient 
came in 1938. Working with Dr. Schroeder and 
neighboring doctors, they cared for bed-patients. 
Babies were born in the Risser Home, and minor 
surgery was performed there over a period of 
thirty years. 

Dr. and Mrs. Fred Schroeder. Dr. Schroeder was Strasburg's 
last doctor. 

Dr. Fred Schroeder, a native of Strasburg, was 
born in 1883, and he lived most of his life in the 
family home in South Strasburg. He attended the 
theological seminary in Springfield, but he always 
had a desire to be a doctor. He realized his boy- 
hood ambition when he graduated from Barnes 
Medical School in St. Louis. In 1911 he married 
Dr. Risser's daughter Nita, and set up practice in 
Sigel. After about a year they moved back to 
Strasburg, where he built an office on the corner 
of Main and Commercial Streets. This building is 
still standing, but it was moved east when the fill- 
ing station was erected. Many patients were cared 
for here, and much medicine was dispensed, and the 
doctors of this time mixed many of their remedies 
from powders and liquids and they always had 
quite an assortment of pills on hand. 

Dr. Schroeder was also a surgeon, and he per- 
formed surgery in his office and in the Risser 
Home, as well as in area hospitals. 

Woodworking was Dr. Schroeder's hobby. 
He worked at home refinishing furniture and 
making cabinets and chests for himself and his 


Dr. Schroeder was known in the village as 
quite a talker and many ex-patients can relate tales 
that were told by the good doctor. One of his 
stories is of a local lady who called for his services. 
When he asked where she lived, she replied, "On 
this side of the railroad track." We don't know if 
the doctor found her residence or not by that 

Dr. Schroeder continued to serve the sick of 
the community until his own health failed. In 1966, 
at age 83, he passed away in the home of his 
daughter Ruth. 

Dr. D. L. Robey, physician and surgeon from 
Virginia, is listed as Strasburg's first doctor, but no 
records can be found of his service here. He had 
moved elsewhere by 1875. 

Other doctors, some dentists, and chiroprac- 
tors were in Strasburg for relatively short periods 
of time. Drs. Stephens, Brunk, Knowles, Chase, 
Adams, Burlington, and Eli York all served the 
distressed of the community. 

Post Office History 

The Strasburg Post Office was established on 
February 11, 1874, under the name of Strasburgh, 
but the name was changed to its present spelling 
on July 13, 1893. 

The office of postmaster was held by several 
citizens in Strasburg's early history. Some were in 
office for only a few months, and one, for 
instance, held the position for two weeks. During 
the first ten years of the town's existence there 
were eleven appointments. The first postmaster 
on record was Frank M. Beck. 

When Lawrence Zerr took time out from his 
brickmaking to take the position of postmaster in 
1875, he moved the post office to the south edge of 
town, known as "South Burg," where several 
businesses soon sprang up. The early location of 
the post office that most oldsters recall was in the 
south-east corner of the Weber Store Building. 
When this frame building was replaced by the 
present brick structure on that site, the post office 
was moved to a location across the street near the 
east end of the block. Later, it was moved to the 
present location. 

Since the early postmasters held their offices 
by political appointment, their jobs were subject to 
the outcome of the national elections. As the 
occupant in the White House changed, so did the 
postmaster. The Faster family holds the record for 
having served in this office for the greatest number 
of years. Henry Faster, Sr. was appointed in 1883 
and held the office until Grover Cleveland was 
elected, and a Democrat took over. In 1889 he 
again received the appointment and served while 
Benjamin Harrison was President. Cleveland was 
again elected and Faster was out for four years, but 

was in again and served until his death in 1910. His 
son, William Faster, was appointed at this time, 
and he held the office until 1934 when Franklin 
D. Roosevelt was President. Etta Risser helped in 
the post office for many years. At this time 
George E. Kull was appointed, and he served until 
his retirement in 1957. His wife Aurora assisted in 
the office. During Mr. Kull's years in the post 
office, Strasburg's office attained a third class 
status, due in part to the large shipments of baby 
chicks from the hatcheries. Sales of War Bonds also 
hit a record, equalling that of Shelbyville. At his 
retirement, the present postmaster, Lowell T. 
Green, was given charge in 1957, and was appointed 
in 1959. Elsie Nippe served as clerk for many 
years under both George E. Kull and Lowell Green, 
until she retired. Maurine Hobson worked there in 
later years, and at present Audrey Falk has that 

The mail arrived twice daily on the train as 
long as the Wabash was in service. When it was 
discontinued, the mail was brought into town by 
truck. Homer Her performed this service for many 
years. At one time, there was also the Highway 
Postoffice, a van which traveled from Vincennes, 
Indiana to Springfield, Illinois. It came through 
Strasburg for a few years. It carried two postal 
clerks who picked up, sorted, and delivered mail 
along the route. 

The Strasburg Post Office gained nation-wide 
attention when a gang of gunmen came into town 
early one morning, before daybreak, in 1930. One 
of the men, Cecil Wright, a parolee from a state 
prison, was convicted of breaking into the Stras- 
burg Post Office and stealing a small amount of 

change (forty-three cents) from the rural carrier's 
desk. For this theft of government property, 
Wright served a lengthy sentence in Alcatraz. He 
studied the rudiments of law while in prison and, 
pleading his own case on the basis of "habeas 
corpus", had himself released in 1943 for a new 

In 1903 the Rural Free Delivery began to 
bring the mail to farm homes and established a new 
way of life for country dwellers. Instead of having to 
make a trip to town once to twice a week to pick 
up the mail, a rural carrier now covered a specified 
route every day to deliver and pick up the mail at 
each mailbox which was generally located right at 
the front gate. 

At first there were three rural routes serving 
the Strasburg area. Route No. 1 was covered by 
Chas. Renshaw, who went mostly into Richland 
Township. Dan Ruff was given Route No. 2, going 
south and east of town. He carried the mail for 
thirty years, retiring in 1933. John Ruff had been 
appointed to carry mail on Route No. 3, known as 
the Rockford Route but he died before starting 
work. Joe Kull carried this route for a while, as did 

Warren Storm, but it was later discontinued, and 
the territory was given to the two remaining 
carriers, Mr. Ruff and Mr. Renshaw. 

Country roads were not very dependable 
when winter snows and spring rains made them 
almost impassable, and automobiles were not avail- 
able in the early 1900's, so the horse and buggy had 
to be used by the carriers. At times the conditions 
were so bad that the mail had to be delivered by 
horseback or on foot. Substitute carriers helped 
out during these times, and in cases of sickness or 
when the carrier was on vacation. Some of the 
substitute carriers were Charles Ruff, Bill Renshaw, 
who later became a regular carrier, John Whitacre, 
Glen Renshaw, and Otto Wirth. Mr. Wirth carried 
mail as substitute for thirty-three years, from 1927 
until 1960. After Dan Ruff retired, the two routes 
were made into a single one, and Roscoe Renshaw 
carried this for many years until he retired. The 
present rural mail carrier is Chas. Jr. Rosine, and 
his substitute is Clinton Weber. With the country 
roads being greatly improved, the carrier now 
covers a daily route of about sixty-six miles with 
168 boxes. 

The Presses Roll 

In 1889 J. A. Quicksall issued the first copy of 
the Strasburg Herald. From a small print shop with 
a hand press, he edited 50 copies at first. Soon 
more than 200 copies were being printed weekly. 
Editor Quicksall soon had the largest subscription 
list for a weekly paper in Shelby County. Merchants 
and businessmen for twenty miles around advertised 
in the thriving Strasburg Herald. With the work 
piling up, Quicksall enlisted the help of his wife; 
and he eventually employed William Hellman,then 
a boy, to do the mass of work that came to the 
office. Later, a cylinder press and a gasoline engine 
speeded up the work. 

William Hellman was called to the colors in 
World War I, and other help was found in 1917. 
When Hellman came back from the war, he pur- 
chased the Herald and operated the printing shop 
successfully for many years. Ill health forced him 
to sell. In 1930 the Herald sold to J. Edwin Hoyer 
of the Stewardson Clipper. Ownership of the 
paper passed through many hands until Frank 
Trainer took over the Herald in December of 
1932. Later Trainer, due to his wife's illness and 
also to his advancing age, sold the entire shop to 
Leon Murray of Pana in December, 1936. For 
three years Murray printed the Herald. The sub- 
scription rate during this period was $1.25 per 
year. In 1942 rates were raised to $1.50 yearly. 

P. G. Kaase was next editor, until 1943 when 
George Dunscomb of Windsor purchased the paper, 
and it was printed under the editorship of Theodore 
McDonald. The last issue of the Herald was printed 
December 29, 1943. 

A few items of interest from the Strasburg 

May 16, 1916-from J. H. Wiandt's ad: 

coffee-2 lbs. for 25# 

vinegar— gallon for 15# 

mustard, in pint milk bottles-8^ 

Pork and beans-40 and 8# 

7 lb. box crackers-54# 

cookies, per lb. -12# 
May 6. 1920- 

A new boiler has been installed in the engine 
room of the Strasburg Creamery this week. 

From an ad: G. M. York has extra pair pant 
suits for $45.00 

Wm. W. Engel tells us that he received a car- 
load of Samson tractors today and can make 
immediate delivery. 

August 18, 1921 -from a column titled "Motor 

York and Green have recently sold a new Ford 
touring car to Jack Griffin, the Big Four section 
foreman at Windsor, and another to Edgar A. 
Mitchell of near Gays. 

Henry Faster, Jr. cashier of the Strasburg 
State Bank, drives a new Haynes touring car having 
traded his Chandler in on the new car at Decatur 

May 18, 1922-from a Bernhard Milling Co. ad: 

New flour prices: 

Diamond 48 - $1.85 

Perfection 49 - $1.80 

Fine chick feed 100 - $1.90 

Wm. Pikesh shipped six carloads of corn fed 

steers to the Chicago Market Tuesday. Mr. Pikesh 
and Chris Lading accompanied the shipment. It was 
one of the finest shipments ever sent to market 
from our city. 

June 1. 1922- 

Memorial Day services were held at Grace and 
St. Paul's Cemeterys. The Strasburg Band made 
their first appearance in their new uniforms. 

H. J. Allen set up his merry-go-round in town. 
Everyone is invited to join in the hobo masquerade. 


At a public sale of Mrs. Firebaugh of Windsor, 
Pete Buesking, auctioneer, sold a mare for $90.00. 
The animal is about 20 years old, and Pete said he 
sold the same mare 10 years ago for $90.00. Age 
has made no perceptible change in the value of this 
animal, and considering the age, she was well sold. 

Wanted: Milk customers, 50 a quart. 
Wm. Mueller, Jr. 

The Herald is the only 8 page paper in Shelby 
County for $1.00 a year. 

Recently a businessman from Mattoon visited 
Strasburg, and after driving over the town, said, 
"Strasburg has the best kept residence of any town 
I've ever seen. The houses are painted, the lawns 
are kept neat, and the streets are in fine shape." 

This is something to be proud of since it comes 
from a stranger. 

The Wabash ran an extra Tuesday from 
Stewardson to deliver 9 cars of hogs for Floyd 

Tonight Strasburg will have the privilege of 
seeing a free talkie-movie show at the Storm Hall. 
It is free for everybody and will consist of over a 
mile of fine film. 

April 10, 1936- 

The Biehler Hatchery is turning out chicks at 
the rate of 28,000 weekly with two large incubators. 

July 21, 1938- 

G. C. York advertised: Stanolind gas-15#/gal. 
—tax paid. 
March 9, 1939- 

Strasburg well strikes pool of oil 4 miles south 
of Strasburg along the Wabash right of way. 

Pancake and Sausage Supper 300— adults, 150 
-children. Serving starts at 6 p.m. at Duling High 
School Gym by Richland Home Bureau. February 
4, 1941. 

May 7, 1942- 

A column titled, "With Our Boys in Camp", 
gives addresses of 27 Strasburg service men. 

Number, Please - The Telephone Story 

Prior to the 1900's, there was no telephone 
system in Strasburg, but three ingenious citizens 
had a special way. of communicating with each 
other - they had a telegraph line. Dr. Risser, 
G. Schroeder, and Henry Faster, Sr. had rigged up a 
telegraph line between their homes, and they had a 
code worked out which they used. 

Other people in town needed to talk with each 
other and in 1900 Dr. Risser organized the first 
telephone system for Strasburg and surrounding 
areas. One party line, number 41, consisting of 
sixteen phones was installed from the Risser home 
south and east into the country. Dr. Risser was 
owner of the first phone, and he originated the calls 
consisting of short and long rings. The sixteen on 
this first line were: Wm. Schroeder, George Blythe, 
Henry Diepholz, Jr., H. C. Doehring, Adolph Kirn! 
Wm. Von Behren, Fred Doehring, August Doehring, 
Louis Mueller, Henry Wirth, Henry Buesking, Sr., 
Henry Diepholz, Sr., E. Johnson, Cliff Brackin, and 
Dr. Risser. 

More citizens got telephones and more lines 
were built. Some private lines were installed. 

Early telephones used wet batteries. They 
hung on the wall and the user turned a crank to 
reach central. 

Dr. York helped Dr. Risser in maintaining the 
telephone system. The first switchboard was in 
Dr. Risser's home. Later the switchboard was set 
up in the Jasper Curry home on the corner where 

O. O. Kull's home now. stands. Lily Davidson ran 
the switchboard, and Ed Wingate had a store in the 
building. Here the switchboard remained until it 
was moved to a building on the southeast corner of 
T. A. Weber's lot, where it stood until 1924. The 
central office was then moved east across the alley 
where it was used until 1964 when the new dial 
system went into use. 

In 1906 the local phone company was in- 
corporated and became known as the Strasburg 
Mutual Telephone Company. Capitol stock was 
$10,000. First directors were: Michael Weber, 
John Ruff, Henry Spannagel, Ed Klump, John 
Jackson, J. F. Kull, Dr. Risser, Dr. York, and H. 

No. 1 share was issued to J. F. Kull in 
1906. President was J. F. Kull and Wm. Engel was 
secretary. Cost was $20.00 a share. 

Twenty-five telephone lines were extended 
throughout the community in following years. 
From three to seventeen phones were on each line. 
Each party line had its own officers; a president, 
secretary, treasurer, three directors, and a lineman; 
and was responsible for its own upkeep. Dues 
ranged from $2.00 to $15.00 throughout the years. 

Phone service for Strasburg began at 5 a.m. 
and ended at 9 p.m. except for emergency. 

If a phone user needed to know about a fire, 
for whom the bell tolled, the time of the day, a 
message left by someone who had tried to call or 

any special announcements, central was called. 
Only in rare cases did central not have the answers 
needed. Area citizens still miss this "personal help" 
that the modern dial phone system just can't pro- 

Early managers and operators include Fred 
Lading, Ray Wiandt, Mary Green, Alice Eakin, 
Peggy Eakin, Carrie Bodine, Tillie Thies, Freida 
Harmon, Ruth Tate, Frank Giertz, Mamie Hirtzel, 
and Maurine Hobson. Fred Andes, Walt Andes, and 
Ida Ruwe worked for many years in the telephone 

Times changed, and so did the telephone 
system of Strasburg. In 1960 negotiations were 
begun to sell to the Illinois Consolidated Telephone 
Company. After many meetings, this was accom- 

plished. A new telephone office was built on east 
Main Street where the Charles Beck store was once 
located. On December 16, 1964, at 9:01 a.m. 
telephone service was cut over to dial operation. 
Strasburg users had free service to Windsor and 
Stewardson and they could call Shelbyville by 
dialing "7". Later free service was extended to 
these Shelbyville calls. In 1969 users could direct 
dial all long distance calls. 

As of 1964 there were 471 stocks in force in 
the Mutual Telephone Company. Phones in use for 
all or part of the year numbered 360. 

In 1966 the Strasburg Mutual Telephone 
Company was dissolved by the shareholders. So 
ended the community phone system which had 
served Strasburg since 1900. 

Strasburg Bank 

In the early years of Strasburg's history, local 
citizens drove to Shelbyville over muddy roads, 
then called Fraker Flats, if they wanted to do 

Among the first businessmen unhappy about 
the situation was Martin Hamm who complained 
to Judge Thornton that it was hard to make the 
twelve mile trip when necessary. The judge 
suggested that Strasburg organize their own bank. 
With the help of some Shelbyville citizens, they did 
in the year of 1902. First officers were: W. E. 
Walker, president, T. R. Dove, vice-president, and 
Henry Faster, cashier (who up to this time was 
depot agent.) 

A few years later, some Shelbyville business- 
men tried to charter another bank in Strasburg, 
but the plan was dropped. 

In 1932 during the depression many banks 
were forced to close, but due to the efforts of the 
directors, Strasburg Bank remained open and in 
business. The community has always been proud 
of this. 

Only once was the bank threatened with 
robbery. About the year 1910, someone tried to 
blow the vault open with nitroglycerin. For some 
reason they failed. Ben Bingaman, the night- 
watchman, heard nothing. Later it was learned that 
a hand-car was gone from the local depot which had 
been broken into. The hand-car was later found at 
Windsor. Theory was that the would-be robbers 
took the hand-car to Windsor, then hopped a big 
four freight train. 

Strasburg's first bank was located in the 
building which was torn down where the Com- 
munity Building now stands. The building was 
then shared with J. A. Quicksall, jeweler and 

druggist. Later in 1915, a hotel was razed and the 
present bank building was constructed. In 1917 it 
became The Strasburg State Bank, having a federal 
guarantee for savings. 

The new bank was first heated by a hand-fired 
coal stove which was just east of the vault. Later a 
coal furnace was bought for the basement; then 
this was converted to oil and finally, to city gas. 
Original radiators are still in use. 

The original wall clock still is in use in the 
bank. Many remember the stuffed loon bird that 
used to sit "eyeing" bank customers. Edwin H. 
Faster had shot the bird at Henne's Pond, and the 
stuffed loon sat on top of the bank vault for years 
until recently. 

In 1968 William B. Cannon of Decatur bought 
controlling interest in the bank, and in 1969 a 
complete remodeling job was done. 

The following are previous bank presidents: 
James F. Kull, 1917-1940; J. E.Weber, 1940-1962; 
and Max Weber, 1963-1968. Henry Faster was bank 
cashier for twenty-six years, from 1917-1943. 
Ruby Templeton and Joe Kull have also been 
cashiers. Former employees include: Edwin Faster, 
Eva Falk, Geneva Kull, Frieda Hughes, Paul Man- 
hart, and Sandra Rincker. 

Some past bank directors are: Martin Hamm, 
Lauren Hamm, G. B. Ulmer, G. C. York, Ruby 
Templeton, James Kull, Henry Kull, Alvin Kearney, 
J. E. Weber, Max Weber, and Joe Kull. Present 
directors are Wm. Cannon, Harry Cannon, Arthur 
Stiedley, Lowell Green, Floyd Weber, and Roy 

Serving the community at the Strasburg Bank 
now are: Roy Rincker, Nita Vogel, Linda Cress, 
and Evelyn Augenstine. 


Funeral Customs 

Long ago when death entered a home, friends 
relatives, and neighbors came to be of assistance. 
Someone would "lay" out the body in preparation 
for burial. This was done at the home since it is 
doubtful that there was an undertaker here 100 
years ago. The clock in the home would be 
stopped at the hour of death and started again 
after the funeral. The church bell would ring and 
toll the number of years of the deceased's life. 
Ladies would get dark clothes ready for the 
mourning family to wear at the funeral. A black 
crepe band was placed around men's hats or worn 
on one arm, and black veils were worn by the 
ladies of the family. 

Some remember Chris Beery who made caskets. 
His farm home was directly north-west of Strasburg 
on the west side of the highway. Caskets were 
made according to the size of the person, and were 
smaller at one end. Beery may have assisted with 
burials before the community had an undertaker. 

Since the bodies were kept at home until 
the funeral, there was a "wake" overnight by 
family and friends. The rooms were kept as cool 
as possible since there was no embalming done, and 
no screens for windows. Food brought in by 
others was served at the wake. This was a quiet 
time with the entire household "hushed". 

A black crepe wreathe was placed at the door 
where death had entered. In later years, artificial 
flowers were used at the door, and this custom is 
still observed if the body is brought home for 

Caskets were taken by horsedrawn wagon or 
spring wagon for services and burial. Then came 
the black hearse drawn by two black horses with 
plumes or some ornament on their bridles. If 
roads were too bad, an extra team of horses was 

First horse-drawn hearse used by John Pfeiffer, Sr. 

On the burial day there would be a short 
service in the home, a slow moving procession to 
the church, and a church service with hymns and 
sermon. Sometimes the entire funeral was in the 
home. As the funeral procession moved along the 
roads, all vehicles they met stopped and the men 

would remove their hats, waiting until the pro- 
cession passed by. The driver of the horse-drawn 
hearse remained on the hearse during the service, 
regardless of weather. The hearse was kept covered 
in the livery barn. The team of black horses were 
stabled there also. 

Funerals were largely attended, especially the 
church services. Extra chairs were placed, and even 
then people had to stand. If a businessman died, 
other places of business closed during services. 

At the cemetery there was a rough box, made 
of wood, in which the casket was placed. Boards 
were laid across the top of the rough box. Relatives 
and friends assembled at the cemetery for a prayer 
and hymn. As the pastor said the words, "Earth to 
earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes", three handfuls 
of dirt would be thrown on the rough box. In 
later years, flower petals were used. Burial depth 
used to be six feet, now it's about four feet. 

Taking part in the funerals would be the 
flower girls, and the black gloved pall bearers. 

After leaving the cemetery, relatives would go 
to the home of the deceased to visit with family 
members from a distance. 

It's doubtful that many flowers were used at 
funerals 100 years ago, especially in winter. Wild 
flowers or garden flowers in season were used, and 
some remember artificial flowers being used. In 
recent years greenhouse flowers are used so lavishly 
that families sometimes request memorials instead. 

The first undertaker to be remembered is 
John C. Pfeiffer, Sr. Later his son Martin took an 
embalming course and he was in partnership with 
his father until his father died in 1930. 

John Pfeiffer, Sr., Strasburg Undertaker - 1915. 

In 1936 Martin Pfeiffer built a brick home in 
the south-western part of town. This was Stras- 
burg's first funeral home. Now the bodies were 
brought here for embalming. Later families held 

visitations here before the church service. 

When Martin Pfeiffer retired in 1958, George 
Moeller of Springfield took over the funeral busi- 
ness. He purchased the two story house southeast 
of Grace Church, and this became Strasburg's 
Funeral Home. 

In 1962 Moeller moved to St. Elmo to be 
undertaker there, and he was succeeded here by 
Kessler-Howe, funeral directors of Shelbyville. Roy 

Rincker purchased the funeral home and this house 
is presently used for visitations and funerals. 

James Yockey purchased the Kessler share of 
the business in 1970, and it became Howe- Yockey 
Funeral Directors. Monte Howe died in 1970, but 
his widow remains in the business, and the Stras- 
burg area continues to be served by Howe and 
Yockey Funeral Directors. 

And Here They Lie 

As the early settlers of the territory in and 
around Strasburg organized churches, began schools, 
and opened businesses; so did they, of necessity, 
plot cemeteries. 

Wade Cemetery, a tiny corner of land two 
miles north, and two and one-half miles west of 
Strasburg, is on ground now owned by Ralph Reel. 
Five stones are still here; three of which are 
Revolutionary War soldiers. The oldest stone marks 
the 1830 gravesite of John Jenkins, Pvt. of Light 
Dragoons of Virginia. This is probably Shelby 
County's smallest cemetery. 

North of Strasburg and east of Elmer Richard's 
house is Lookout Cemetery. There are nearly 
forty stones remaining here on a knoll under three 
oak trees. Most stones date 1830's through the 
1850's. Family names appearing on stones include 
Webb, Young, Poe, Parks, and Crockett. Several 
veterans are buried here, among them Abner Poe, 
a Black Hawk War veteran. 

The Rockford Cemetery, known formerly as 
the Welton Cemetery, is one mile south and four 
miles west of Strasburg on the farm of Conn Fox. 
The oldest stone here is probably that of Jesse 
Welton who died in 1842. This cemetery is still 
being used. 

Two miles north of Strasburg and three- 
fourths mile west is the Richland Cemetery. The 
oldest tombstone here is dated October, 1819. 
Two veterans of the War of 1812 are buried here; 
and twenty-one Civil War veterans' graves can be 
found. Area families still bury at Richland. 

Once called the Keller Cemetery, Lower Ash 
Grove Cemetery is next to the Lower Ash Grove 
Church about three miles east of Strasburg. This 
land was originally Illinois Central land. Later the 
Lenzes sold the plot to John Blythe to be used for 
burial grounds. The oldest part of the cemetery is 
next to the church with the date 1838 on one 
stone, that of Joseph Noland. 

Gaskill Cemetery is at the Gaskill Church or 

"Brick Church" site east of Strasburg. Both church 
and cemetery date to 1869 and are still being used. 
The moss-covered brick tomb here is the resting 
place for Allen Gaskill and his family. 

The first St. Paul's Cemetery was on a small 
plot one and one-fourth miles south of Strasburg. 
It is thought that six graves of the early 1860's 
are here, although the tombstones have all disap- 
peared. The church's burial grounds were moved 
to a four acre hillsite south and west of town. 
First graves here were arranged in rows in the order 
of death; after 1913 lots were laid out and now 
families are burried together. A message to passers- 
by on one stone reads: 

"Dear Friends, as you go by, 

As you are now so once was I. 

As I am now, so you'll be. 

Prepare for death and follow me." 
On some of the earlier stones there are Bible 
verses written in German. 

Grace Cemetery is at the west edge of Stras- 
burg on the Fred Hasemeier ground. Stones here 
date from 1897. In the center circle are buried two 
pastors: Rev. A. T. Bonnet who died in 1917, and 
Rev. G. A. Schimmel who died in 1937. The stone 
of Dr. Amos York, Strasburg's first doctor, is 
found in the north-east part of this cemetery. 

In recent years, Memorial Day services have 
been observed at Grace Cemetery with the high 
school band marching and the American Legion 
conducting the programs. 

Two other cemeteries area people visit are the 
Swede Lutheran Cemetery two miles south and 
nearly four miles east of Strasburg, and the Spain 
Cemetery south of Kingman on the Art Boldt farm 
now owned by Elmer Tabbert. Both are still in use. 

Hundreds of persons from the earliest settlers 
to our contemporaries lie near us in quiet repose, 
and the history of Strasburg marches on. 

The Wabash Railroad 

Until a town could boast of a railroad, there 
was little chance of its prospering. The future 
Strasburg was an isolated rural community in the 
1870's. Wagons hauled goods to the "Country 
Store" operated by Charles Ostermeier. About 

every two months the wagoners loaded up supplies 
at the Windsor Depot and brought back calico, 
dishes, boots, and whiskey which had been "rail- 

(continued on page 33) 

Wabash Depot and A. W. Young's Grain Elevator. Depot stood where current park rest- 
rooms are. 

I been workin' on the railroad. 

Strasburg Depot. 

Unloading sacks of flour at Strasburg. 

(continued from page 31) 

roaded in" from St. Louis. Although Windsor was 
only seven miles "as the crow flies," the trip was 
often a two-day affair. Therefore, the residents of 
the proposed Strasburg were indeed happy when 
they heard that the Chicago and Paducah railroad 
were "comin' to town". Immediately plans were 
made to plat a village of forty acres of land sur- 
rounding Ostermeier's Store. The town dreamers 
were doomed to disappointment, however. The 
C & P Railroad failed during the Panic of the 70's. 

The railroad that was destined to serve Stras- 
burg was built around 1874 and was constructed as 
a junction line from Decatur, Illinois. It was called 
the Wabash. The freight hauled from the north to 
the south in the morning, and reversed its route in 
the afternoon. Passenger trains came through town 
from the south in the morning, and returned from 
the north in the evening. The terminals of these 
runs were changed occasionally. 

Until 1880 Strasburg was only a freight stop, 
and the depot was a small shed near where 
Schlechte's Lumber Yard now stands. Farmers 
would drive their cattle and hogs to town to sell to 
the stockyard, which was built near the railroad. 
About three times a year branded horses from the 
West were brought into town to be auctioned to the 
highest bidders. These came by way of rail. Cream, 
poultry (both live and dressed), eggs, and grain 
were all shipped to distant spots on the Wabash. 

Then passenger service was introduced. A 
depot was built near the present ball park, and 
Strasburg was "on the map." Stations were built 
about six to ten miles apart so they could serve the 
small communities. The train could be flagged 
down at Buttermilk Station north of town, and a 
nickel would pay for a ride to town. Many people 
rode the train to visit nearby relatives, and in the 
teens and twenties high school students boarded 
the Wabash to go to nearby towns to further their 

Both the railroad and the town thrived and 
grew with the advent of passenger service, but the 
city fathers were alarmed that these new-fangled 
machines should roar through town spewing sparks 
and scaring their horses. Accordingly, ordinances 
were passed prohibiting any locomotive to travel 
through the city at a greater speed than six miles 
an hour. The penalty for failure to observe the 
speed law would result in the railroads being fined 

at least ten dollars. Fines would also be rendered 
against the railroad if any engine, train, car, or other 
obstruction impeded the free passage of teams or 
pedestrians for more than five minutes. It was also 
decided that the railroad should be responsible for 
construction of and maintenance of passageways 
and culverts on each and every street or alley 
through which it passed. This city ordinance was 
duly voted on and passed on July 13, 1894. 

The railroad provided employment, and many 
young men sought jobs on the section crew. Pay- 
day was the nineteenth of each month, and work- 
men were paid by the month. If one started work 
on the first of the month, he would work fifty 
days before he got his check. Section men 
received $1.15 a day. They were not paid on days 
when they could not work. It might even be 
possible for men to lose money working on the 
railroad, since they were charged fifty cents for 
board. For example, if a section man were hired on 
Sunday, July 1 , he would be charged a day's board. 
If it rained on Monday, he would not work until 
Tuesday. Therefore, he would be charged for 
three days' board ($1.50) and would receive $1.15 
in pay. He would be thirty-five cents in debt before 
he started. No wonder the old song went, "I've been 
workin' on the railroad just to pass the time away." 

Nevertheless, many did find grainful employ- 
ment and made railroadin' a lifetime career. During 
the railroad's existence there were four station 
masters: Al Davidson, Henry Faster, Orville Storm, 
and John Stearns. Some local railroaders were 
Charles "Tud" Wilson and Herbert "Bert" Wiandt, 
Bill Wilson, John Wade, and Otis Wiandt. 

Just as the towns were dependent on the rail- 
roads, the railroads were dependent on the towns. 
Before the advent of the automobile and good roads, 
both were successful. In 1928 Highway 32 was 
constructed through the same towns which were 
being served by the railroad. As traffic increased 
on the highway, it decreased on the railroad. People 
drove their cars from town to town. More and more 
trucks were used to transport the livestock and 
grain which were once the lifeblood of the railroad. 
By the 1930's the Wabash was in financial trouble, 
and passenger service was discontinued. Two years 
later the railroad had ceased to exist, and the last 
vestige of it was removed as the tracks were torn 
up and the depots moved or torn down. 

The Wabash making its scheduled stop at the Strasburg 


The Laying of the "Slab" 

It has not been too many years ago that the 
pavement going through the middle of Strasburg 
was simply a mud road. The route was known as 
the Grand Prairie Trail and the letters GPT were on 
the telephone poles along the road. 

Marvin Ulmer recalls, as a small boy, the 
road through Strasburg before the "slab". What 
dust! Just like the township roads, it got its yearly 
grading, dragging, and a luscious coat of thick oil. 
A big mud wallow in the "pre-slab" days extended 
all the way across the road at the line between 
where Pete Buesking's and Carolyn Wallace's pro- 
perties are now. In the winter when the ground 
was freezing and thawing, there was a rut in which 
vehicles could sink into up to the axle. This 
caused lots of trouble for funeral processions. 
Marvin remembers that the Stewardson Packing 
Company operated eight or ten trucks which went 
through town every morning, and when it was 
muddy, every truck had to be pulled through 
every morning. G. C. York was ever-ready with his 
tow truck. 

Plans were made to complete route 129 
through Strasburg, and in 1928 work was begun 
on the strip from route 16 south to where the 
high school now stands. J. J. Ransom of Palestine 
was contractor. Some remember John Anderson 
and son Cecil who had the bridge building contract. 
Three large bridges went in at Herbon corner, 
where Chas. Anderson now lives in town, and north 
of town where Larry Lenz farms now. 

Spring, 1928, was rainy, and mud made the 
road work difficult. Hedges along the right of way 
were pulled out by teams. Road grading was done 
with horses and mules. 

This construction work was, no doubt, good 
for the economy of Strasburg,Herborn, and Steward- 
son. During this time many road workers and their 
families moved into town, renting rooms from 
local citizens for $5.00 a month. Some crew 
members stayed in vacant country houses, and 
some camped. There was a camp at Maple Grove, 
two miles south of Strasburg, on the.Noffke farm, 
where workers pitched tents. Twenty-seven mules 
had been driven up from Olney, and these teams 
were kept here also. Later there was a camp north 
of town where Elmer Richards lives now. Bridge- 

gang headquarters were in the northeast part of 
town, and Orville Bauer recalls picking up his pay- 
check there. A man's wages was 35 cents a day; a 
man plus his own team received 50 cents a day. 
Usually the crews worked ten hour days. 

Rock, gravel, and cement were "shipped in" 
to Strasburg on the Wabash. Hug trucks and 
Model T Ford trucks hauled these supplies to the 
road site where it would be mixed and poured. 
Horse-drawn water wagons brought water from 
dammed up branches or from wells. 

The July 26, 1928, issue of the Strasburg 
Herald contained an article about the road con- 

'The hard road outfit now working on Stras- 
burg 's new hard road probably broke, as far as can 
be learned, the world's record for cement pouring 
in one single day and for the time taken to put 
down one mile in consecutive days. Their record 
breaker of a single day was J, 1519 feet. There are 
other mixers of a larger capacity that have beaten 
this mark. 

The work on a one mile stretch was done by 
J. J. Ransom's outfit in four days. This is consider- 
ed an extra good run for a six bag mixer . . . As far 
as can be learned, "Susie" takes the cake. Mr. 
Ransom figures on starting on the north end of 
route 16 sometime Saturday. " 

There is a story about one elderly gentleman 
who, after the "slab" was in, never realized the 
danger of walking on it as he had in the days 
before the pavement. Someone concerned about 
his safety once cautioned him that he might be hit 
by an automobile. His quick retort was, "I was 
here before the "slab" was." -and that settled that! 

Work on the "slab" through Strasburg probably 
ended the summer of 1929. W. 0. Keller remembers 
the pouring of the last load of concrete at the 
Herborn crossing. It's printed in the October 6, 
1932, Strasburg Herald: "Several Strasburg resi- 
dents motored to Effingham Sunday afternoon to 
try out the recently completed slab on Route 129. 
It is a great road." 

In 1965, the pavement was resurfaced. The 
asphalt plant was located on Dale Rincker's farm. 
In 1970, route 32 was again resurfaced and widened. 

Strasburg Homecomings 

It's Homecoming time again! The young at 
heart, from one to ninety, have waited anxiously 
for the annual Strasburg Homecoming celebration 
each year since the early turn of the century. 

Some of the first Homecomings were held on 
the Fourth of July with the festivities proclaimed 
by banners and flags waving from the Risser flag- 
pole on their roof across the road east to the top 

of Bill Telgman's barn. 

Later celebrations were changed to the fall of 
the year and the program was a two day affair 
with carnival rides and concessions that arrived in 
Strasburg on the railroad. Old timers remember 
the glass blower, a greased pig contest, tugs-of-war 
across the pond, and, of course, the races across 
(continued on page 38) 

Fourth of July parade going west on Commercial Street-1900. 

The Royal Neighbors, organized July 28, 1899, with twenty 
charter members, sponsored a float in the 1901 parade. 

July 4, 1901 -Speaker's stand, Band Boys and Dr. York 
(the oldest permanent resident of the village) Director of 
speaking and amusement. The stalk of corn on the table 
took the prize - height, 116 in. - the tallest bluegrass 60 in. 

A balloon ascension during a celebration in the early days of Strasburg. 

Strasburg Band— organized in 1900. Building at left back- 
ground is hotel which stood on present bank site. 

July 4, 1901 -Float of Joe Backensto. After filling all posi- 
tions on the R.R. from section hand to conductor for the 
past sixteen years, he moved here in April 1900 em- 
barking in the saloon business. Last spring he added a cigar 
factory which is represented by his float. 

1948 carnival at Homecoming. 
Looking east from Weber's Store. 
Rincker's Poultry House, Wm. 
Engel Hardware, and Post Office 
were later destroyed by fire. 

!r £ 



* s 


Homecoming committee in 1933. 
Left to right are: George E. Kull, 
Frank Price, Rudolph Von Behren, 
Dr. S. C. Lorton, Orty Webner, 
Emil Noffke, Wm. Traue, O. A. 
Green, John Staehli, Chas. Krile, 
J. C. DeLaurenti, Wm. Engel, M. 
G. Ulmer, Wm. Wilson. 

Crowd assembled to watch after- 
noon program during 1948 Home- 
coming. Stage was set on the 
street between the bank and 
Weber's Store. 

(continued from page 34) 

Weber's Pond in wooden tubs! Baseball and out- 
door basketball games drew huge crowds. Hitching 
contests and horse races, talent programs, and 
balloon ascensions were highlights of past Strasburg 

In the late 1930's into the 1940's, our town 
hosted large crowds who came for the annual free 
beef barbecue and the free fish frys. 

Following is a report quoted from the Sep- 
tember 1 4, 1 934 Strasburg Herald: 

The Strasburg Home-Coming sponsored by 
the association formed several years ago, is a matter 
of record now and it was one of the best ever held 
in point of attendance. The barbecue is a good head 
liner to get the people to come and it is gratifying 
to see everybody enjoy the sandwiches and coffee 
given out to them free. Five thousand sandwiches 
were disposed of in an hour and as far as is known 
everybody was pleased and along with them a cup 
of coffee to each if desired. 

Dr. Lorton of Shumway supervised the roast- 
ing of three fine beeves and he did an excellent job 
of it. The meat was thoroughly cooked and its 
quality was first class. A large crowd of town folks 
looked on with intense interest Tuesday night 
while the fire was burning in the trench to make the 
bed of coals for the roast. It was all new and some- 
thing different. 

One of the interesting parts of the day's pro- 
gram was the entertainment at the north garage. 
Eight hundred people saw the afternoon and 
evening programs and at the small charge of 5</ 
and 104, $64 was the proceeds which was used to 
defray expenses. 

Strasburg school band gave a short concert at 
noon before the serving of barbecues began. 

The tango game furnished entertainment for 
those who like it. Two dances were held in halls 

by private parties and in which the Home Coming 
Association had nothing to do. 

A base ball game was played at the park by 
the Colored Swans of Decatur and local team. The 
result was 6 to 2 in favor of the home team. Rain 
prevented many from witnessing the contest. 

The "tug of war" and foot races were the last 
event on the program. The foot race was won by 
Bill Kinsel of Bruce who is an all-round athlete and 
who pitched the game for Strasburg. Mr. Kinsel 
has been drafted as a player on the Cardinal ball 
team of St. Louis. 

A note-worth thing of the day was the good 
behavior of the crowd. Only one arrest was made. 

The program of the "Home Talent Variety 
Program" held on Wednesday, September 12, 1934 
during that year's Homecoming read as follows: 


1 . Music Stremming Bros. 

2. "Hiram Blows In" Wm. Faster 

3. Quartet Carl Kull, Bryan Renshaw, 

Delbert Smith, Merle Kull 

4. Play "Just Out of the Hospital" 

directed by Mrs. Mae Young 

5. Music Stremming Bros. 

6. Play "Bell's Wife" East Salem Group 

7. Quartet-Helen Doehring, Mrs. Ruby Hudson, 

Carl Kull, Merle Kull 

8. Play "If I Were President" 

directed by Mrs. G. A. Schimmel 

9. Music Stremming Bros. 

10. "A Small Boy's Troubles" ... Marvin Ulmer 

11. "Moving Day" Marjorie Engel 

12. "Kerchoo" Junior Storm 

13. Music Stremming Bros. 

14. Play "A Sick Coon" . . . Carl Ruff 

Lloyd Buesking 

15. Music Stremming Bros. 

Admission 54 and 104 York's North Garage 

t. I 

John Deere Days in Strasburg. 

Since that time, Strasburg's Homecoming has 
become a three day and night celebration with 
commercial entertainment, midway rides, queen 
contests, tractor pulls, farm product displays, pet 
parades, and prize drawings. 

A few of the local men who organized the 
Homecomings during the 1900's include Max and 
Floyd Weber, Dale York, Donald Webner, Bill 
Hamm, Orville Engel, and Roy Rincker. For more 

than ten years, Emmert Weber, Marion Small, and 
Roy Kull were responsible for the success of the 
food stand. 

For the past fifteen years, Homecoming has 
been held at the Strasburg Park instead of down 
Main Street, and in 1967 the Strasburg Lions took 
over sponsorship of the Homecoming. Homecoming 
Days still remain a highlight of the years' activities 
for Strasburg area citizens. 

With a Song in their Hearts 

Those who helped Strasburg grow from a 
handful of stores on the prairie to a flourishing 
town are described as industrious and hard-working 
peoples. Yet they, too, found time for family fun 
which sometimes grew into entertaining which the 
entire community enjoyed. 

The Herman Diepholz Family first picked up 
their musical instruments in the evenings for their 
own enjoyment. They learned melodies by listen- 
ing to thp victrola. Neva (now Mrs. Carl Buesking) 
was at the piano. Lorene (now Mrs. Orty Baum- 
garten) played the violin with her father. Melvard 
had a guitar and a violin, and their mother took 
turns at the piano. The family soon played for 
"house dances". Andy Bauer or Herman Diepholz 
would call at these dances after a couple of rooms 
were cleared and the rugs were rolled back. The 
schottische, the polka, the waltz, and square dancing 
were enjoyed. In the summer, barn dances were 
scenes of gay crowds. Dances were also held above 
Dick Storm's Store or Fred Kircher's Hardware 
Store in Strasburg. 

With 500 of gas and the Old Dodge loaded 
with trap drums, violins, a mandolin, a banjo, and 
guitars, the group was ready to go wherever music 
was needed— chicken frys, homecomings, dances, 
community plays, and class plays. Melvard served 
in WWII, and he died at age thirty-three from wound 
complications. Following this, the family group 
ceased to play publicly. 

The three youngest sons of August Stremming, 
farmer in the Strasburg area, are known as the 
Stremming Brothers. Wilbur got a guitar when he 
was about fourteen years old. He worked for Ed 
Doeding, and he learned to play by chording along 
with Doeding. Later Gilbert began playing a violin 
while Eddie, the youngest, picked up a five string 
banjo and later, a mandolin. 

The boys played together on the porch at 
home. Then they began furnishing music at school 
houses, for weddings, during programs, and for 
"hoe-downs". Dances were held in barns or houses 
near Windsor, Middlesworth, Trowbridge, and Stras- 
burg. Andy Bauer's house, barns owned by Dave 
Rincker, Emil Noffke, Henry Vonderheide, and 
August Doeding's barnlot all were scenes of evenings 
of fun. It's been said the Stremming Brothers never 

Pictured are Stremming Brothers. 

turned down a "job". In the 1930's they were 
sponsored by local merchants several Sunday after- 
noons on the radio station WDZ at Tuscola. 

Music was provided throughout the com- 
munity by the Stremming Brothers until the late 

St. Paul's Orchestra played at church affairs, 
such as German picnics, mission festivals and church 
anniversaries. Orchestra members recall traveling to 
Blue Point and to Altamont. The orchestra also 
entertained at birthdays, weddings, and other 
"socials". This group played over a period of ten 
to fifteen years with most members taking part for 
five or six years each. World War I called many 
members away, and the group disbanded. 

The Strasburg Band, another village group, 
had a concert at the bandstand every Thursday 
night. Other engagements included marching at 
homecomings, playing at the three day Hammond 
County Fair, and at horse races at Shelbyville. 
Under the directorship of Alf Duling, Everett 

Haney, or Grant Gibler, the village band entertained 
until the early 1930's. Later school students gave 
public band concerts here. 

Merle and Carl Kull, sons of Henry Kull, sang 
at countless weddings and funerals in the com- 
munity, not to mention programs, box suppers, and 
Chautauquas at Shelbyville. Sometimes with two 
others, the boys formed a quartet. Their sister, 
Ruby Hudson, often accompanied them. 

The children of Virgil Collins were very musi- 
cal, and they have also entertained in the area. 

In many rural school houses, Community 
Clubs met monthly and various musical groups of 

the area entertained. 

Bill Widdersheim, an accomplished violinist, 
who came to Strasburg around 1915, is noteworthy 
because he had played with the Philadelphia 
Philharmonic. Occasionally in this community he 
played for the public. 

In 1963, the two Strasburg Lutheran churches 
along with Trinity of Stewardson began presenting 
special Christmas concerts. The churches involved 
take turns hosting the concert. 

Music is still a part of Strasburg's community 
life, as church choirs, the school band, and talented 
individuals harmonize. 

St. Paul's Orchestra under 
direction of teacher A. H. 
Scheer. First row bottom: 
Fred Doeding, Ed Doeding, 
A. H. Scheer, Ed Buesking, 
Herman Diepholz. Second 
row: Ed Hartman, Emil 
Ulmer, Chris Diepholz, Theo 
Von Behren, Edwin Strem- 
ming, August Doeding. 
Back row: Martin Mueller, 
Otto Wirth, Hugo Wirth, 
Wm. Juhnke, Westerman. 

Strasburg Concert Band and Bandstand about 1925. Back row standing left to right: Roy Storm, Edwin Metzler, Don 
E 60 .^ B ,f re "' ^ d U " ruh / Emery Duling. Warren Storm, Vern Oliver, Albin Foelsing. Seated: BertWiandt, 
B.ll Faster, Arthur Unruh, Albert York, Elma Duling, Chris Kircher, A. C. Duling Everett Henne 




"The whole town's on fire!" That was the cry 
that went out from all those who were awakened 
early in the morning hours of March 11, 1963 and 
looked toward the main part of Strasburg. Indeed 
several buildings on the south side of the main 
street were destroyed and a large vacant space was 
left. This brought to mind earlier times when fire 
leveled business buildings and left ruin and devesta- 
tion in its wake. 

On at least two occasions a hay barn was 
burned in the east part of town causing great 
danger to other buildings and considerable loss to 
the owners. Hay barns were used as large ware- 
houses for storing hay bought by a dealer and 
shipped to out-of-town buyers or sold to local 

Probably one of the most tragic events in the 
town's history occurred when a young business 
man suffered fatal burns as he was carrying out his 
duties. Albert Faster, whose brother William has 
been well known to all in the community, lost his 
life at the age of 22 in January, 1902. He was a 
clerk in the General Store owned by J. E. Weber 
and was getting ready to light a gasoline lamp for 
night's work, as stores were open late every night. 
As he was pumping air pressure into the lamp, the 
gas bowl of the lamp exploded and scattered gas 
over his clothing. A spark from the stove set fire 
to that end of the store and to the young man. 
Young Mr. Faster ran out into the street toward 
a pump at a well before the owner could reach 
him and he suffered deep and painful burns. He 
was taken home, but medical aid could not save 
his life. 

Ten pounds of gunpowder under the counter 
of the store exploded and the shock and report of 
the blast were felt and heard many blocks away. 
The explosion put out the fire so that the goods 
were not destroyed and the building did not burn, 
but it was wrecked beyond repair. Every window 
glass was broken and walls were bulged out and 
joists over the cellar were splintered. Fortunately, 
there were no customers in the store at the time, 
but Mr. Weber suffered burns about the face and 
hands as he tried to reach the young clerk and 
smother the flames. 

The post office, located in the southeast 
corner of the building, was occupied by the young 
man's father who was Postmaster. When the elder 
Mr. Faster saw the blaze in the other part of the 
building, he began to gather books and records and 
was rushing out with them when the explosion 
threw him out into the street. Many of the older 
citizens still tell about this event. 

Late night or early morning seem best, or 
rather, worst for fires. Fire fighters were called out 
early one February morning in 1947 when the tavern 
and pool hall operated by John Anderson and 
George Lloyd, and located on a corner in the center 
of town, were demolished. Although the near-zero 
temperatures almost froze the hoses to the street 
and the fire truck was festooned with icicles, the 

firemen were able to prevent the flames from 
spreading to other business places. Water was used 
from a well until it was drained and from the 
stream near the tavern. The furnishings and stock 
of the tavern were destroyed along with the build- 
ings, and operators of nearby stores began to pile 
merchandise in the street in case the fire spread to 
their buildings. An overheated stove or furnace was 
thought to be the cause. Unaware of the tragedy, 
the bar keeper, Martin Mueller, came to work at his 
usual time to find that not only was there no bar, 
there wasn't even a tavern! 

Again, very early in the morning of March 1 1, 
1963, an alarm went out and firemen and villagers 
were confronted with a blaze that threatened the 
whole down-town area. Before it was contained, 
half a business block was destroyed, taking four 
store buildings, one of which was empty. The old 
Postoffice building, owned by George E. Kull, was 
gone with an estimated loss of $4,000.00. Although 
it was not being used as the Postoffice, some 
articles were stored in it. The fire was thought to 
have started in the Lowry Hardware Store, run by 
Don Lowry. This business had been purchased 
from Wm. W. Engel Sons. The entire stock was 
destroyed, with a loss of $25,000. A brick building 
at the rear of the hardware store, which in times 
past had been used as an old ice house, was also 
lost. The Juhnke Poultry building suffered a loss 
of $10,000. A corrugated siding on a canopy 
across the driveway of the Juhnke building stopped 
the blaze from continuing on to the nearby build- 
ings. Driven by a strong east wind, the burning 
embers were tossed into the air and endangered 
other buildings. Helpers were busy on roof tops, 
sweeping off burning bits of wood and putting 
out the fires started by them. Charred pieces were 
found beyond the northwest edges of town. Win- 
dows were broken by the intense heat in the Weber 
building across the street. Everyone helped as 
much as possible, and the American Legion Post 
and Auxiliary opened its hall to serve coffee and 
donuts to the workers. 

Fire! Former Post Office Building ablaze. 

On February 10, 1965, a $40,000.00 fire 
which began about 10:30 a.m. destroyed the Dale 
Young Mfg. Co. plant and a building owned by 
Martin Pfeiffer. The buildings stood across the 
street east of the town fire-house. Apparently the 

Above: Firemen silhouetted against the blaze. Below: 
Morning after, (fire photos by James Kull) 


fire broke out in the paint spraying room, and was 
seen and reported by Burl Hobson from his home 
across the street, when smoke began to come out of 
a ventilator. Dale Young, the owner, suffered burns 
on his head and arms, and was taken to the 
hospital. The Pfeiffer building had been used in 
conjunction with the funeral home and had been 
used for storage. 


The stream flowing through Strasburg from 
east to west is familiarly known as "The Branch". 
In times of fire a dam was hastily thrown across the 
stream to collect a supply of water, which was 
used by the pumper in addition to the water in the 
city wells. Most of the time the branch runs 
serenely along, and in summer is almost dry, but at 
times of heavy rainfalls, it, too, can go on a rampage, 
as is evident from the news item taken from the 
local paper in June, 1957: 

Strasburg Little Prepared for Seven-Inch Deluge 

The dark, clouds loomed menacingly, and the 
rains came, but Strasburg was little prepared for the 
seven-inch deluge which descended on the territory 
Thursday night and early Friday morning. 

Three families awoke to find themselves 
marooned in a sea of water. The houses of Orval 
Bauer, Silas Boyer and Alvin Kearney were com- 
pletely surrounded by water. His basement flooded, 
Orval Bauer waded into the waist high water in an 
attempt to salvage food from a floating deep freeze. 

The road which passes the three residences was 
impassable with water high enough to permit use of 

a row boat. Two local men, Don Lowry and Dale 
Young, were enjoying the unexpected pleasure of 
main street boating when their boat was suddenly 
caught in the undertow of the Kearney bridge and 
they were unceremoniously dumped into the sur- 
rounding water. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Radloff were celebrating 
their ninth wedding anniversary with a "night out" 
at the Mattoon theater. They arrived home at 
9:30 a.m. Enroute from Mattoon, they, along with 
many other motorists were stranded on Highway 16 
because of high waters, and were forced to spend 
the night in their automobile. The last seen of 
Howard Wirth about 10:30 a.m., he was wandering 
the streets hoping the water east of town would 
lower enough for him to drive the 2]6 miles home. 

Water flooded Highway 32 forcing Dale York 
and Earl Renshaw to construct mud dikes to keep 
water from flowing in the basement windows and 
doors at street level. The Renshaw parking lot was 
completely under water. 

Most Mattoon workers took an enforced 
vacation as highway 16 was closed to traffic. 


Heavy snows and teeth-chattering tempera- 
tures are not uncommon in this area, and may 
have occurred more often in the "Olden Days", 
but there was not quite the inconvenience then, 
because most people could stay at home and wait 
until such time as the roads were cleared or they 
could get out with horse drawn sleds or on foot. 
With more modern vehicles, a blizzard paralyses 
traffic, and that is what happened when a ten-inch 
snow blanketed the area on Sunday, January 16, 
1964. The deep drifts made travel impossible, and 
some who were able to get to church that morning 
found it difficult to get home again. By Monday, 
all highways in the area were closed, and state 
crews worked around the clock, trying to keep the 
roads open, but high winds would blow the tracks 
shut before the return trip. Township workers were 
unable to conquer the drifts, but where they did 
get through, the snow was piled up in high banks, 
which would again drift shut. Cars and trucks were 
stalled and travelers were stranded, and some had 
to be taken in by local families. The grocery store 
was soon sold out of bread and milk, and new 
stocks could not be delivered. School buses could 
not run, and schools were closed on Monday, but 
opened again Tuesday. Service stations were 
swamped with calls for towing service, tires, chains, 
and batteries. Temperatures dipped to zero at 
night, adding to the discomfort and hardships. 


In this community we are so used to spring 
rains, and occasionally a summer flood, that when- 
ever there is a period of more than a couple of 
weeks without a shower, especially in summer, the 
residents begin to ask one another, "Is this going to 
be another '54?" Many people can recall some 
very dry and hot summers, but none of these 
made such a deep impression as that extremely dry 
period in 1954-55 which is referred to as "The 

Lake Paradise, near Mattoon, was almost com- 
pletely dried up, and people could experience what 
it felt like to drive a car across the lake bed, which 
was hard and solid except for the deep cracks 
which seemed to divide the ground in blocks. 

The extremely hot weather brought the intro- 
duction of the first air conditioners, which have 
since become a normal piece of equipment for the 
home and office. 

Water had been in short supply all year, and 
by summer the effects began to be felt. Crops had 
been put in as usual, and were growing, but after 
several days of temperatures over the hundred mark, 
and no rains, the full impact of the drying winds 
became quite evident when the therometer reached 
114° on the 14th of July. From then on, every- 
thing seemed wilted, and corn grew only a few 
small flinty ears on stalks about a yard high. Wells 
that had never been dry before now failed, and 
water had to be hauled in periodically for use in 

many homes. Most country people had livestock 
and poultry that also had to be supplied. The 
town wells on the business street were very popular 
places, as many families relied on the water they 
could carry home from them, until one of these also 
went dry. 

Residents would scan the skies hopefully to 
catch sight of a cloud that might contain moisture, 
but they were few and far between and even the 
distant rumble of thunder was like music. Some 
efforts were made to "seed" the clouds in order to 
produce rain and Rain-makers became very popular, 
although not very successful. Deep cracks appeared 
in the ground and grass became dry and brittle and 
almost non-existent, so that lawn mowers could be 
stored away unused. Those people who washed 
their cars became very unpopular, as everyone was 
required to conserve as much water as possible. 
Everyone learned to appreciate the simple gift of a 
refreshing rain and a drink of cool water. 

Faith of our Fathers - 

The Story of our Churches 


Some years before the actual founding of 
Grace Church, it became apparent that there was a 
need for Lutheran worship services in the English 
language. In the fall of 1896, this was discussed at 
a meeting at St. Paul's. The congregation at this 
time was not ready to hold services in English, but 
the pastor, Rev. A. Werfelmann, made arrangements 
for seminary students and faculty to preach at a 
vacant public school building in town for Lutherans 
who preferred English. This building was just west 
of the present church structure, and it is still 
standing, now on the Wm. Brehmer farm. 

In February, 1897, the first English Lutheran 
service of this little group was conducted by 
Student Wenchel. Attendance at following services 
increased, and soon the schoolhouse was filled on 
Sundays. When the building was to be auctioned 
off in June of 1897, the question arose where ser- 
vices would be held. Ed Klump, James F. Kull, 
and Henry Spannagel decided to purchase the 
building, and the price paid was $400.00. Thus, a 
permanent worship place was provided before the 
new congregation was formally organized. The 
seven signing the constitution in August, 1897, were 
Henry Spannagel, Edward Klump, Chris Kircher, 
John E. Weber, James F. Kull, William Brehmer, 
and John Depner. 

Grace Church obtained its first pastor, Rev. 
Martin Daib, in 1899. 

A parsonage and a stable were built in 1901. 
The parsonage was located where the church now 
is; it was moved north when the church was built. 
The stable was on the west end of the church 

The congregation grew, and in 1912 a decision 
was made to construct the present brick church 
building. In 1914 this temple of worship was 

dedicated by a membership of over two hundred. 
The church's interior with oak altar remains basical- 
ly the same today as when built. 

Rev. G. Schimmel served Grace the longest, 
from 1920 until his death in 1937. During this 
time the two bells named "Faith and Love" were 
dedicated. Until recently, these bells would toll 
out the old year, and ring in the new at New Year's 
Eve Watch Parties held in the church basement. 

Young men of Grace have always represented 
the community in the military service. During the 
years of World War II when Rev. Metzdorf was 
minister, forty young men of Grace served in the 
military; thirty-two of them on overseas duty. All 
but one returned; Kenneth Wilson was lost on a 
ship in the Mediterranean in 1944. 

The church's 50th anniversary was celebrated 
in 1947. Many remember the special Mission 
Festival Sunday observed each fall. Potluck meals 
and three church services with emphasis on mission 
work was the order of the day. 

In recent years, many improvements have 
been made. A new office building was erected in 
1961, and in 1965 the brick parsonage was con- 
structed. Latest church interior decorating was 
done in 1972. 

Active church organizations include the Ladies' 
Aid (organized in 1911), Men's Club, Walther 
League (since 1922), Fellowship Club, and the 
choir. A vacation Bible School is held each summer, 
and Grace Church has helped organize a new 
congregation in Sullivan. Youth instruction is 
provided through the Sunday School program and 
the Saturday confirmation classes. 

Oldest members at this writing are Louise 

Giertz, Henry Kull, Fred Lenz, and William Kull. 

Membership grew steadily until a peak was reached 

in 1945 with 355 total members. Rev. M. Kam- 

( continued on page 46) 

St. Paul's Church and School 


Grace Lutheran Church and 
Parsonage (1912). 

Grace Lutheran Church as it 

f . '' Baptist Church, 

Strasburg, 111. 

Strasburg Baptist Church. 

United Methodist Church before it was remodeled. 


ysjsB ipl 

Strasburg First Baptist Church built in 1962. 

United Methodist Church today. 

(continued from page 43) 

mrath, pastor since 1962, now serves a membership 

of about 270. 


Lutheran settlers in this community hailed 
from Chicago, and they settled on the rich prairie 
lands south of Strasburg. With the help of their 
former pastor in Chicago, they got Rev. H. W. 
Rincker of Terre Haute, Indiana to come to Stras- 
burg in the early 1860's. By 1866 a congregation 
was organized. First church officers were: Fred- 
erick Bauer, John Falk, Sr., Frederick Wirth, John 
Kircher, G. Nehring, Carl Brehmer, John Ruff, and 
Wm. Wangelin. First church services were held in 
homes or public schools, and later in a building on 
the Rincker farm near Herborn, just south and east 
of where the Stewardson-Strasburg School stands 
now. Rev. F. W. Schlechte was the first resident 
pastor, and he also served surrounding territories. 

Land one and one-fourth miles south of Stras- 
burg was donated by Gottfried Pfeiffer and here a 
20' x 30' church was erected. When additional 
land was bought, a parsonage and a cemetery were 
added here. 

Since the membership increased rapidly, a 
new church was constructed on a more centrally 
located plot in 1875. Christian Spannagel, con- 
tractor, built the church for about $4,000.00. The 
original church property south of town was used 
for schooling until 1884. This second church 
interior featured a high pulpit, a balcony around 
three sides, an altar draped of red velvet, a coal 
stove, and coal oil lamps. German was the language 
used in the church. Members sat during the services 
with women and children downstairs and the men 
in the balcony, and the church officers in the crosc 

St. Paul's Church, 1916. 

benches at the front of the church. Singing was led 
until a pipe organ was installed in 1882. The origi- 
nal church bell is still used. Members recall the bell 
ringing on Saturday evening reminding all of wor- 
ship service on the next day. 

In 1897 some church members who preferred 
speaking English helped organize Grace Lutheran 

Rev. C. F. Keller and 875 church members 
celebrated the church's 50th anniversary in 1916. 
A throng of people estimated at 2000 gathered at 
south Strasburg to celebrate this happy occasion. 
Dinner and supper were served and it reminded 
one of the Biblical feeding of the 5000. Morning 
and afternoon services were conducted in German 
and the evening service in English. Three founders, 
John Ruff, Wm. Wangelin, and Frederick Wirth, 
were still present. 

About thirty St. Paul's men were drafted into 
World War I, and the following died in service: 
Henry C. Lading, Fred Nippe, F. W. Pieper, and 
Andrew Ruff. During these war years there was a 
transition to the English language in the Church. 
During the 1930's the congregation held twin 
services on Sunday, one in German and one in 

In 1941, the congregation redecorated the 
church, installed a new oil-o-matic heater, and 
reconditioned its pipe organ. In June 1941, St. 
Paul's observed its 75th anniversary with three 
services. Rev. L. Stuebe was serving the 653 
members at this time. 

Kenneth Buesking and Paul Stuebe were the 
first men of St. Paul's called into service during 
World War II. The service flag at the front of the 
church was taken down in December, 1946, when 
Arthur Unruh, Jr., the last of the fifty-one men, 
had returned home or reenlisted. 

Plans were made for a new building in 1949. 
Cornerstone laying services were held for this on 
October 11, 1953 and were conducted by Rev. 
Howard Kramer, who attended St. Paul's Lutheran 
School for eight years. He was the son of Wm. A. 
Kramer who taught at the school for twelve years. 
In 1954 the present house of worship was dedicated 
while Rev. G. A. Lueck was pastor. 

St. Paul's church has been served by eleven 
resident pastors since its beginning. The Rev. 
C. F. Keller and Rev. L. Stuebe each served sixteen 
years. The congregation maintains a parsonage, 
and two teacherages east of the church building. 

The congregation, now in its 107th year, 
numbers about 600 members. Active church groups 
include a Men's Club, Ladies Aid Society, Walther 
League, P.T.L., and a choir. The church supports a 
Sunday School, Bible class, and a day school. 

Presently, oldest members are Sophia Span- 
nagel, Sophia Lenz, Emilia Lenz, Mary Ulmer, Viola 
Ruff, Minnie Kasang, Martin Buesking, and August 


The Richland Regular Baptist Church was 
organized in August, 1875. This early congregation 
shared the Richland Church Building north of Stras- 
burg with three other congregations. Elder T. M. 

Griffith from Windsor served as first pastor for the 

Wanting a church building of their own, these 
early members erected a place of worship in 
Strasburg, and the group moved its services to town 
in 1893. 

Now the church's name was changed to the 
First Baptist Church of Strasburg. 

Many improvements and changes have been 
made over the years to the church property. In 
1907, a brick walk was built on the west side of 
the property. A piano was purchased for church 
use in 1918, and electric lights were installed in 

The original church structure was torn down 
in 1962, so that the present building could be 
erected. An annex was built in 1966, and in 1972 
the church members added a parking lot. 

Church membership has varied throughout 
the church's history. In 1907, eighty members 
answered roll call. Currently, membership totals 
about fifty-five. 

Oldest members now are Addie Richards, 
Fairie Renshaw, and Florence Staehli. 


About 1885, a group of non-Lutheran Protes- 
tants began to feel the need of a church of their 
faith in Strasburg. It was decided that a Methodist 
Church should be started. Since these would-be 
Methodists were few in number and limited in cash, 
they began having prayer meetings in their homes. 
Soon they established a more formal service, using 
the Strasburg Public School building (west of the 
present Grace Church), and in 1888 they decided to 
build a church. To raise the money, some young 
ladies of the congregation, Jennie Rankin Martin 
and Jennie Kale Spannagel, went around the 
countryside collecting salable products, such as 
potatoes, eggs, butter, corn, and poultry. Proceeds 
from the sale of these items made a tidy next egg. 
Meanwhile Luther Kale (father of the late Mrs. 
Wm. Spannagel) tucked his Bible under his arm and 
solicited funds from local businessmen. 

After the erection of the building, Rev. Miles 
Hart came from Windsor and preached each Sunday. 
Benches without backs were the first seats used. 
Later a reed organ was added and Nellie Beck 
Kircher chorded the Methodist tunes so people 
could join in congregational singing. 

As the years passed, the benches were ex- 
changed for chairs. Two large round oak stoves 
were used for heat. Oldsters remember the large 
Christmas tree with candles all colors and lit with a 
match. Besides a house of worship, the church was 
a social center with programs, hayrides, and picnics 
enjoyed by all. 

A new Sunday School room and social hall 
were added onto the church in 1954. Latest build- 
ing improvements were made in 1970 when the 
church interior was paneled. 

The church's young people are active, and the 
Methodist ladies formed a society known first as 
the Ladies' Aid, now the United Methodist Women 

Strasburg's Methodist Church is proud of its 
members who have gone into the ministry: Earl 
Stierwalt, Karl Cowell, Paul Curry, Ernest Duling, 
and George Terry. 

The congregation currently numbers about 
107. Rev. Donald A. Graham is pastor. 


Early settlers felt the need for a Protestant 
Church which could be used by many denomina- 
tions. Therefore, in 1867 five gentlemen got 
together and purchased a tract of land on which an 
interdenominational church could be erected. These 
men— Samuel Renner, Sampson Casky, L. H. 
Turner, Joseph Hayden, and Harvey Blair-bought 
a tract about three miles north-west of Strasburg 
from Lorenzo and Cynthia Turner and the Richland 
Church was built. It served as a church home for 
five major religions in the territory; Baptist, Metho- 
dist, Christian, Church of God, and Unitarians. In 
the tradition of the day, all day preach-ins were 
held with the people spreading their lunch under 
the trees for a communal dinner. Revivals were 
popular and people from miles around would gather 
to hear the evangelists. 

Because it was the meeting place for all 
denominations, it was not unusual for the church 
to be full of God-fearing Protestants who loudly 
proclaimed their amens from the benches. As 
Strasburg grew, the Baptists and Methodists left to 
start churches of their own in the nearby village. 
The church was later taken over by the Methodist 
Conference, but services were discontinued there 
in the early 1950's. The building no longer stands. 


In the late 1850's a church was organized, and 
a frame place of worship was erected three miles 
south of Strasburg and one mile east. This was on 
the corner of the John Kasang farm, and the church 
was always referred to as Kasang Church. 

This circuit church was one of the earliest in 
this area, and families who attended included the 
Bredows, the Fritzes, the Beckers, Rosines, Tab- 
berts, and Reeces. 

After disbanding around 1920, most members 
joined with neighboring Methodist congregations. 
The church building and furnishings were sold at 
an auction, and the ground was returned to the 
Kasang farm. 


As early as 1855 a class led by Wm. Carnes 
met at the East Salem schoolhouse where Don 
Westenhaver now lives. The Methodists gathered 
here soon felt the need for a church building, and 
in 1875 Wesley Chapel was constructed about eight 
miles west of Strasburg. The church was completed 
under the ministry of J. C. Burkett at a cost of 

This original building was torn down, and 
some of the lumber was used in 1942 when the 
place of worship was rebuilt. 

Until 1968 Wesley Chapel was a part of the 
Strasburg Circuit and was served by the same 
minister who led worship in Strasburg. 

The present pastor is Rev. Robert L. Foulk, 
who resides in Clarksburg. 

The congregation at Wesley Chapel is noted 
for in its community socials, soup suppers and 
icecream socials, which until recently were annual 


According to legend, the first M. E. church to 
serve the southwestern part of Ash Grove was a log 
church in a grove of twelve sycamore trees just 
west of Drake Creek. This original building burned 
during the Civil War, and a brick church was built. 
The brick came from one-half mile north up Drake 
Creek. The solid walnut seats therein were made 
by James Wiandt, carpenter and violin maker. 

One of the first preachers was Allen Gaskill 
from whom the church probably got its name. He 
is buried in the adjoining cemetery. Some of the 
first church members were Gaskills, Evans, Worleys, 
Brandts, Carruthers, Becks, Everharts, Storms, and 

The "brick church" stood as it had been con- 
structed until 1954 when a storm tore most of the 
roof from the building. The church was then re- 
roofed and many improvements have been made 
since then. 

In 1960 the first Bible School was held, and it 
has been a successful project ever since. 

Gaskill Church's 100th year was celebrated in 
1969. Presently church attendance is about thirty- 
five, with Sunday services conducted by Rev. Don 
Graham of the Stewardson-Strasburg Circuit. 


In 1832 Rev. Jackie Storm organized a 
Christian Church in a log cabin at Ash Grove, and 
people in the southern part of the township attend- 
ed there. Country churches flourished in those 

days because travel into a town for services was 

Later another Christian minister, a Rev. Lynn, 
was instrumental in encouraging the people of 
south Ash Grove, and in 1882, a meeting was held 
at the home of John 0. Storm to plan the building 
of a house of worship. A building committee con- 
sisted of Noah Gaddis, James Storm, James Polk 
Bennet, William Simms, and John Abercrombie. 
These men commissioned Hill iard Doll to erect a 
frame church to cost $140.00. Location was one- 
fourth mile west of Gaskill. 

In 1886 Drake Creek Church, as it was named, 
was renamed Church of Christ. 

This church was moved to Keller Cemetery in 
1908, and it is still located here. The building has 
been remodeled and is in good condition. It is 
three and one-half miles east of Strasburg on a 
knoll with woods on three sides. 

Pastor Gaylon Wells of Xenia presently serves 
the congregation. 


Liberty Hall was located two miles south and 
three miles east of Strasburg. This rural community 
building was built in 1876 on land owned by George 
Hiatt. It was a wooden-A-shaped structure of 
donated lumber from nearby sawmills. Oldtimers 
say round steel nails were used in the building. 

Neighboring preachers, as well as traveling 
evangelists, all stopped and held church meetings at 
Liberty Hall. Community reunions were held once 
a year here with those attending bringing basket 

Some of the first families who attended 
Liberty Hall were the Jensens, Poisons, Lundeens, 
Russelis, Figginses, and Hiatts. 

In later years, people began drifting away 
and attending churches in nearby towns. The 
Seventh Day Adventist group who used Liberty 
Hall consolidated with the group in Stewardson. 
In the early 1950's Liberty Hall was razed. 

School Days 


"Still sits the school house by the road, 
A ragged beggar sunning, 
Around it still the summac grows, 
And blackberry vines are running. " 
Most of these "ragged beggars" are gone now 
but wonderful, nostalgic memories will always 
live for those of us who were a part of our rural 

Early rural schools might not compare favor- 
ably with present day standards, but they had their 
mission and fulfilled it. Perhaps they were more 
appreciated than schools today. 

The rural school was not only a source of 
learning, but it was also a community center. 
Annual wiener roasts, pie and box socials, spelling 
bees, community meetings, Christmas programs, and 
last-day covered dish dinners drew the neighbor- 
hood closer together. 

The first school houses were made of hewn 
logs, earthen floors, and greased paper windows. 
Furniture was benches of split logs. Shelves served 
as desks. The room was heated first by fireplaces, 
then pot-bellied stoves, and finally by huge jacketed 
furnaces that scorched those near them and the heat 
never quite reached the far corners of the room. 
Sanitation facilities were the two three-holers (two 
large, one small) located in opposite corners of the 
school ground behind the school house and reached 
by cinder paths. 

The teachers were usually local people who 

passed from one school to another, often returning 
to a school they had taught a few years before. 
Some were cultural and occupational misfits who 
could survive by no other means. But more were 
fine, dedicated men and women who helped shape 
a growing, strong community. The percentage of 
poor teachers was probably no greater then than 
can be found today in reorganized schools. At 
any rate, many of Strasburg's most successful men 
and women received their basic, and often only, 
education in the little rural wooden school house. 

Schools in Strasburg area included Richland, 
Rockford, Hiatt, Elm Grove, Pinhook, Whitlatch, 
Mayflower, and Prairie Hall. The Whitlatch School 
history is typical of the history of most rural 
schools in this locality. A record book, kept in this 
school district since 1869, is at present in the hands 
of Ed Reel. 

It is recorded that Joshua and Nancy Whit- 
latch sold a parcel of land for sixty dollars to the 
trustees of the School District No. 3. 

Andrew C. Ensminger was hired on October 
18, 1869, to teach the school for six months for 
$300. There were five boys and ten girls enrolled 
at the beginning of the term. By April, 1870, 
thirteen boys and fifteen girls had attended the 
school. There were forty-eight in the district of 
school age. August Shanholtzer, B. Mose, and J. F. 
Martin were school directors. 

One hundred years ago, on September 14, 
1874, the teacher was Thomas Robison. Sixty-five 
pupils were enrolled in the school. Directors were 
Wm. Richards, Joshua Whitlatch, and J. Martin. 
"The numeration in 1874 was as follows: total 
number under age 21-140; over 6 and under 21 — 

In 1881 J. J. Kull was paid $688.00 for 
building a new school house and $18.00 for two 
back houses. This school burned in 1910. 

The daily schedule for a one-room school was 
about as follows: At 8:00 a.m. children started to 
arrive at school. They played out doors if weather 
permitted. If not, games were played inside, seat- 
work done, or the older children assisted the teacher 
with chores. 

At 9:00 "books took up." Usually ten or 
fifteen minutes were spent in opening exercises. 
This consisted of singing songs, reciting poetry, or 
reading a book of classic literature by the teacher 
or an advanced pupil. 

"Books" started with the chart class being 
called to the recitation bench and sounds were 
taught. Next was the first reader class. As each 
class finished reciting, it was given seat work and 
the next class was called forward. Reading classes 
were required to read aloud in a monotonous 
"school tone." The classes were called forward and 
dismissed with, "Rise, pass, be seated," from the 
teacher. Reading classes lasted until 10:30 when 
school was dismissed for recess. This was fifteen 
minutes of free play. What fun! A snack from the 
dinner bucket and some uninhibited running and 
jumping released the tension and prepared the 
children for the hour and fifteen minutes of 
numbers, cyphering, and math that followed and 
lasted until the 12:00 to 1 :00 lunch period. Lunch 

buckets were usually lard buckets. These carried 
homemade bread sandwiches, fruit in season, and 
once in awhile a cookie or cake. As winter wore 
on, lunch might have been bread and molasses and 
a jar of cold soup beans. Games consisted of 
shinny, ball (using a home-made string ball and a 
hedge club), fox and goose, and running and circle 
games. If the teacher had time, he or she played 
with the children. Pranks, such as filling Hugh 
Hillsabecke's boots with water and allowing to 
freeze, were punishable quickly and thoroughly to 
the tune of a hickory stick. No one questioned the 
right of a teacher to whip a child and no one worried 
about the psychological effect it would have on the 
child, school, or neighborhood. Discipline had to 
be maintained or the teacher was marked as lazy 
and out of control. 

At 1 :00 "books" was resumed. English, geo- 
graphy, history, literature, penmanship, and a 
smattering of health or physiology made up the 
afternoon classes. 

Every other Friday afternoon, if the week 
had gone well, from 2:30 until 4:00, the program 
was changed or "they had the evening off." This 
meant a geography contest, cyphering, or a spell- 

Some of the old text books were Beacon Chart, 
McGuffey Reader, Young and Field Copy Books, 
and Gowdy and Dexheimer English. 

Teachers who taught in these early rural 
schools in the Strasburg locality were: A. Ensmin- 
ger, F. Allen, E. S. Gifford, Maud Flours, Thomas 
Robison, Doria Cummins, W. W. McCrory, Nellie 
Woris, G. A. Bowman, Emma McCalister, Ethel 
Barker, Oscar Storm, Emma Flemming, Fred Grabb, 
Hugh Hilsabecke, Fern Lowery, and Lee Frazier. 

In 1943, rural schools were consolidated with 
urban schools into Unit 5A. Gradually the school 
houses and contents have been sold or otherwise 
disposed of. Many of the records have disappeared. 
Some precious pictures, odd books, and other relics 
have been preserved. As with most things of the 
past, these objects and memories connected with 
them take on the aspects of treasures from a happy 
era, gone forever. 


From the time that the congregation was 
organized, St. Paul's Church has maintained a 
Christian Day School, so that the children of its 
members could receive a thorough training in a 
Christian doctrine along with their elementary 
education and so that all subjects would be taught 
in the light of God's Word. This school was first 
held in the church building which was located 
about one and one-fourth miles south of town, and 
was taught at that time by the Pastor, F. W. 
Schlechte, who carried on this duty for about two 
years, until the services of a called teacher were 
secured. The enrollment the first year is recorded 
at forty pupils. 

When a new church structure was built at the 
south edge of Strasburg in 1876, the school con- 
tinued at its first location. Thus, the school and 
church were not adjacent for almost eight years. 

and pupils taking instruction for confirmation had 
to walk to the church and then back to the school. 
In 1884, a school building was erected on the 
church property about where the present social hall 
now stands. Only one teacher had charge of the 
pupils during this time, and although the enroll- 
ment varied, most of the time it was well over a 
hundred, and reached as much as 124. The children 
were arranged in two rows at desks and seated on 
long benches that held seven pupils. Older and 
more advanced students helped with the younger 
children. The teacher was usually strict, and the 
leather strap, hickory stick, or ruler was never too 
far away. For those who didn't know their 
lessons, there was the bench in the front dubbed 
the "Eselbank", which took the place of the con- 
ventional stool and pointed cap. Some teachers 
were here for long periods, and some were not, but 
the longest tenure of office was held by Teacher 
F. W. Toenies, who served for a total of twenty- 
two years, and in the latter years was teaching the 
children of former pupils. 

When a new two-story building was erected 
in 1905, the school was divided into upper and 
lower grades, and the one-room building became 
known as the "Old School House," and still was 
very useful as the social hall for meetings of the 
various organizations of the church. The teaching 
staff was now doubled when a second teacher was 
called. Each pupil now had an individual desk 
which was equipped with an ink bottle that was 
filled from a large jug of blue-black ink provided 
by the school. Penmanship was a must, and was 
practiced regularly with a pen-holder and "scratch" 
pen. These pens were bought at the store down- 
town for a penny apiece and were supposed to 
work better if they were held in the mouth for a 
few minutes to "break them in". The ink was of 
the non-washable variety, and fingers and clothing 
sometimes acquired some strange new designs. That 
may be one reason why dark clothing was worn 
most of the time. 

St. Paul's School built in 1905. 

The "new" school building had a belfry to 
house the bell that could be heard to signal the 
beginning and ending of the school day, as well as 
the recess and noon hour periods. As they 
advanced to the upper grades, boys each received 
the privilege of a weekly turn at ringing the bell. 
The boys in both rooms also carried in coal and 
kindling to start the fires in the two coal-burning 
stoves and to keep them going during the school 
day. These large stoves provided the only heat for 
the building until a furnace room was added and a 
furnace was installed to heat the two school 
rooms, the halls, and stairway. The teachers then 
had the responsibility of maintaining the heating 

Much of the school work was done on the 
blackboards and this created a lot of chalk dust. 
The girls were assigned to wash the blackboards 
and clean the erasers. This latter was done by 
taking all the erasers outside the back door, and 
clapping them together. 

Since German was the mother tongue of most 
of the members when the school was first started, 
that was the language used in school for many 
years. Later on, religion was learned in both 
German and English, as were reading, writing, and 
grammar. The pupils who came into school with 
no knowledge of German didn't take very well to 
these added subjects, and during the mid "20's" 
the English language became the only one used. 

After the turn of the century, St. Paul's 
School reached its highest enrollment, 140 in 1906 
and 1907, and maintained a level of more than one 
hundred until 1919. 

During this time the teaching staff usually 
consisted of two male teachers who were installed 
into office and also served as church organists. 
Among their other congregational duties was that 
of choir director or youth leader. Some of the 
teachers most remembered are S. C. Brauer, Paul 
Potratz, Wm. A. Kramer, R. F. Nordbrock, A. H. 
Peters, E. F. Onken, E. H. Lehenbauer, and John 

Students carried lunches to school in tin 
dinner buckets until 1954 when the school's hot 
lunch program was begun. 

A third teacher was added to the staff in 1962, 
and a temporary classroom was made in the social 
hall of the present church. The two-story building 
was taken down in the spring of 1964 and was re- 
placed by the present stone structure which is 
connected to the church. This new school was 
dedicated in 1964, and contains three classrooms, 
furnace room with gas furnace, principal's office, 
multi-purpose room, and work room. 

St. Paul's School maintains high academic 
standards, and is state accredited. Pupils graduating 
from eighth grade receive a diploma from the county 
superintendent in addition to one from the con- 
gregation, and many are on the honor roll in high 
school and college. The present enrollment is 
forty-one, and Mr. Ricardo F lores is principal. 

One of the highlights former pupils will 

remember with nostalgia were the picnics which 

were held on Sunday following the close of the 

(continued on page 53) 


Basketball team of 1921 
22. Left to right are: 
Harold York, Orval Engel, 
Max Weber, Bryan Ren- 
shaw, Olin Kull, Lauren 
Hamm.and Kenneth Boling. 

Hoop Drill by Upper Grades at St. 
Paul's School 1915 16. Pupils in 
front row: Cona Risser, Gilbert 
Ulmer, Clara Mueller, Frieda Rincker, 
and Florence Stremming. 

St. Paul's pupils grades 1-4 
in 1924. Front row: 
Alfred Giertz, Clark Schmitt, 
Or vi lie Lenz, Nolen Biehler, 
Melvard Diepholz, Honore 
Lenz, Carl Mueller, Ralph 
Schimmel, Curtis Oster- 
meier, Murice Ruff, Eugene 
Bauer, Carl Buesking. Sec- 
ond row, seated: Valeria 
Noffke, Dorothy Strem- 
ming, Deloris Buesking, 
Mary Brauer, Ruth Schroe- 
der, Beulah Doehring, 
Sylvia Mueller, Johanna 
Meyer. Third row: Leona 
Ruff, Nita Vogel, Etta Reel, 
Erwin Lenz, Harry Doeh- 
ring, Herbert Mueller, Roy 
Rincker, Lucille Ruff, 
Lucille Myer, Teacher, Paul 

St. Paul's pupils, lower grades— 1946. 
Front: Roger Nippe, Gaylord Unruh, 
David Schmitt, Gaylord Stremming, 
Frankie Brandt, Leverett Doehring, 
Melvin Lenz. Second Row: Richard 
Doehring, Paul Pieper, Larry Lenz, 
Frederick Buesking, Michael Weber, 
Leon Ruwe, Arnold Schlechte, Curtis 
Von Behren, James Nippe. Standing: 
Esther Cress, Caroline Lading, Chris- 
tine Stremming, Nancy Reed, Shirley 
Pieper, Vera Ulmer, Shirley Doehring, 
E. F. Onken, Beverly Frede, Marjorie 
Ulmer, Beverly Lading, Neva Lenz, 
Donna Lou Frede. 

St. Paul's, upper grades— 1946. Front 
row: Glen Pieper, Gene Lading, 
Charles Doehring, Ralph Buesking, 
Kermit Ruwe, Keith Stremming, 
James Stremming, Glen Spannagel, 
Harold Kircher. Second row: Richard 
Pfeiffer, Delbert Ulmer, Lawrence 
Stremming, George Buesking, Wm. 
Buesking, Eugene Pieper, Clyde 
Stremming, Arthur Buesking, Wayne 
Wirth, Kenneth Pieper. Standing: 
Robert Pfeiffer, Wayne Buesking, 
George Schlechte, Kenneth Von 
Behren, Alma Cress, Margaret Kircher, 
Doris Onken, Loretta Lenz, Beulah 
Stremming, Bertha Lenz, Ruth Meyer, 
A. F. Winterstein, Mary Jane Lading, 
Laveta Stremming, Ruth Pieper, 
Dorothy Rincker, Joyce Weber, 
Retha Buesking, Bettie Schlechte, 
Grace Spannagel, Robert Stremming. 



Pupils of St. Paul's -1966. 

(continued from page 50) 

school year, which in earliest years came at the 
Fourth of July. At first the picnics were held in 
the woods a few miles away, and all would join in 
a parade to the grounds. Later they were held in 
the grove of trees behind the school building. A 
refreshment stand was erected, and became the 
most popular place on the grounds for buying ice 
cream cones, pop, hamburgers or hot dogs, and 
many novelties in great quantities throughout the 
afternoon and evening. Besides serving as a reunion 
for friends and families, the picnics provided 
entertainment for the large crowds in attendance. 
A program was given by each room, one in the 
afternoon and one in the evening, with a band to 
provide music between times. At one period of 
time, Allen's merry-go-round was a much enjoyed 
part of the day, and all the pupils were given a free 
"trial" ride on Friday after watching the process of 
setting up the many pieces of machinery which 
made up this wonderful piece of entertainment. 
Races and contests were provided for each grade 
and all the new clothes were initiated. Times and 
changes brought an end to these festivities. The 
P.T.L. members now have a potluck dinner on 
the last Sunday in the school year, and each room 
entertains in the afternoon. 

The Wabash Railroad track ran along the west 
side of the school grounds, and the trains came and 
went on their daily schedule without too much 
distraction. However, on one particular December 
day in 1931 the engineer blew a series of short 
blasts on the whistle, which may have been a fire 
alarm in railroad language. At any rate, it attracted 
attention so that a fire on the roof of the school 
house was discovered, and firemen were called in 
time to put out the blaze without too much 
damage. No one was injured, but it took the rest 
of the year to straighten things out. It's been said 
that the blackboards were damp for several weeks 


The Northwest Ordinance in 1789 stated that 
each township in Illinois must provide a school for 
its children. Accordingly, in 1832, the first school- 
house was erected in Richland Township where 
the old townhouse is now located. It was built of 
round hickory logs with greased paper windows to 
admit the light, and here the students came to 
learn their readin', writin', and 'rithmetic. 

About forty years later a second school house 
was built on the site just west of where the Grace 
Lutheran Church now stands. It was a one room 
frame structure similar to the old one room rural 
school where one teacher taught all the grades. 

Strasburg was growing, so in 1895 a four room 
brick building was erected two blocks north of the 
old school. This showed foresight on the part of 
the school board, for at first only two rooms were 
needed. At this time there were only two teachers, 
and one of these served as principal. In 1904 a 
third room was put to use. The teaching staff had 
grown to three: Bertha Hoese (York), Ethel 
Barker (Duncan), and Frank White, who later be- 

came County Superintendent of Schools in Shelby 
County, and was noted for his ability to call the 
students throughout the county by name. 

Older members of our community still 
chuckle about the pranks sometimes played on the 
teachers. One Halloween the janitor, A. A. Beck, 
was the object of tricksters' fun. He went out to 
milk his cow, and not finding her, he went on to 
school. There she was - in the school! 

Spelling bees were afternoon treats for stu- 
dents, with Friday afternoon activities being the 
highlight of the week. Classes put on special pro- 
grams for the entertainment of other classes, and 
teachers and pupils alike enjoyed this break in 
routine. Holiday programs, school plays, costum- 
ing on Halloween, fall carnivals, and last days of 
school, are fond memories of many. 

As the need for more schooling became 
apparent, it was decided to establish a two year 
high school, and the upstairs of the building was 
used by these older students. First graduates from 
the two year school in 1907 were Nellie Metzler, 
Bruce Curry, and Walter Wiandt. 

Some students graduated from the eighth 
grade at the parochial school and were confirmed, 
and then they attended eighth grade at the public 
school, preferring that to entering high school. Per 
haps it was as Bill Faster used to remark, "The folks 
would send the kids back to school for another 
year mostly because there wasn't much else to do." 

By 1920 Strasburg boasted a three year high 
school. The two teachers on the staff were C. F. 
Sheets, principal and teacher, and Wade Steel. 
English, algebra, civics, and history were the 
courses offered. 

The four room building was bulging at the 
seams by 1923. More and more people were pro- 
longing their education through the eleventh grade. 
To solve the problem, a temporary white frame 
building was constructed on the west side of the 
school. That fall the high school students moved 
into the new building promptly dubbed "The 

Within two years the old brick school had 
completely disappeared, and in its place stood a 
new one which would solve (hopefully) all future 
overcrowding problems. Down with the sheep- 
shed! Everyone moved into the fine new building 
with its basement floor consisting of two play- 
rooms, a furnace room, and two restrooms. On the 
first floor were three classrooms and a teacher's 
workroom. The high school occupied the top 
floor with a large assembly, three classrooms, and 
a principal's office. 

In 1927-28 J. C. Lucas was listed as principal 
and teacher. Mr. H. T. Jackson and a Mr. Schafer 
also taught at this time. Ruth Nippe and Bertha 
York taught the fifty-two elementary students. 
There were thirty-three in the three year high 

In 1930 students graduated from the three 
year high school, but during the summer the 
fourth year of schooling was added. Some 1930 
graduates returned to school in the fall and were 
graduated again in 1931 , this time from a four year 

high school. Graduation ceremonies were held in 
various town buildings and halls, or in churches. 
Prior to the four year high school, students wishing 
to continue their education had to board in nearby 
Shelbyville, Sullivan, or Windsor, and attend classes 
there, or ride "Green's Train" to school. Enroll- 
ment in 1934 was fifty-eight in the high school, and 
forty-three in the grades, with John DeLaurenti 
serving as superintendent of both. 

Despite the handicap of no gym, Strasburg 
boasted a fine basketball team. Practice was held 
in a field north of the school. Ballgames were 
played, not at night, but after school in the great 

outdoors "gym." Transportation to other games 
was difficult. When playing Windsor, our players 
often boarded the Wabash, played the game, and 
then walked back home. 

As a W.P.A. project in 1939, a fine gym- 
nasium was constructed and the athletic program 
was expanded. This gym was named "Duling 
Gymnasium" after Alf Duling, who had been 
school board president for years and was instru- 
mental in obtaining this structure for the district. 
Board members when the gym was dedicated were 
Dick Storm, Orville Engel, and G. C. York. 

(continued on page 59) 

Strasburg Public School built 1895. 

"Sheepshed" used for high school in the 1920' 


Inside the "Sheepshed", row 1: 
Fred Lading, Luella Kull, Agnes 
Ulmer, Bertha Stremming, Dor- 
othy Hicks, Everett Richards, 
Clifford Stilabower. Row 2: 
Luella Spannagel, Agnes Binga- 
man, Bernadine Berkhart, Floyd 
Weber, Alice Kull (Ulmer), Esther 
Kull, Mae Luce, Leonard Mueller, 
Ralph Martin, Row 3: Florence 
Spannagel, Lois Martin, Maurice 
Buesking, Lulu Young, Kenneth 
York, Dorothy Swigart, Floyd 
Ulmer, Howard Kearney, Roy 
Renshaw, Everett Renshaw. Row 
4: Emma Spannagel, Helen Bon- 
net, Laura Kull, Lona Bingaman, 
Gail Rankin, Orville Klump. 

Class of 1931 -First four year high school grad- 
uates: seated: Marie Weber, Charles Bingaman, 
Beulah Renshaw. Standing: Pearl Schroeder, 
Eugene Rankin, Beulah Williams, Basil Metzler, 
Lorene Diepholz, Donald Storm, Virginia Stern. 

Strasburg Public School and Gym. 

Upper grades of Strasburg Public School, 
1922. First tow: Bernadine Burkhart, 
Dorothy Hicks, Fred Gill, Raymond 
Schwartz, Agnes Bingaman, Vera Metzler. 
Second row: Lois fvlartin, Andrew 

Bullerman, Geneva Kull, Gervase Duling, 
Fredia Bullerman. Top row: Helen Bonnet, 
Clarence Ruff, Floyd Weber, Joe Raw- 
lings, Mary Burkhart. Teacher: Mrs. 
Nona Munson. 

1923 Basketball team, front row: Clifford 
Stilabower, Howard Kearney, Everett Ren- 
shaw, Maurice Buesking, Leonard Mueller. 
Back row: Floyd Weber, Everett Richards, 
Kenneth York, Arlie O. Brien. 

Strasburg School District's first school bus 
and Carl Buesking, driver-1943. 

Ball team of 1928-29. At left is Coach Leroy Baker with players of the 
"outdoor gym" era: Ralph Lading, Dale York, Harold Russell, Donald Storm, 
Morris Griffith, Basil Metzler, Charles Bingaman. 


Strasburg School students-picture from the 1947 Hourglass. 

Staff of the 1936 Reminiscencer, 
Strasburg high school year book. 
Left to right are: Woodrow 
Wilson, Ruby Doeding, Ruby 
Culver, Olin Wirth, Grayce Schroe- 
der, Evelyn Ruth Storm, and 
Lawrence Krile. 

1954 S-S Basketball Squad with a 
record of twenty-seven wins and four 
losses. They won second in National 
Trail Tourney, third in Shelby County 
Tourney, and first in State Regional 
Tourney, finishing at the top of the 
National Trail Conference. Seated: 
Wayne Wirth, Art Buesking, Dwight 
Friese, Floyd Storm, Van Anderson, 
John Moomaw, Slug Unruh. Standing: 
John T. Middlesworth, Bill Engel, 
Ralph Allsop, Ron Webb, Frankie 
Brandt, Bob Mathews, Kenton Ash- 
enbramer, Harry Ray Bivins, James 

Whitlatch School pupils with 
Oscar Storm, teacher. 

Hiatt School-1895. 

Richland School Dist. 107-1913. First 
row: Troy Blythe, Orval Kull, Tom 
Price, Lawerence Jones, Clarence Robb, 
Carl Delp, Carl Pfeiffer, Harry Sporleder, 
Elmer Doehring, Loyd Spurgin. Second 
row: Glenn Caskey, Festus Waymire, 
Fred Siren, Ruby Sporleder, Florence 
Spurgin, Leah Lading, Gletha Jackson, 
Ruby Siren, Mary Cress, Celia Kull, 
Florence Lading, Helen Jones, Rosetta 
Spurgin, Clara Lading. Third row: Tobe 
Kircher Walter Jones, Walter Schrimpf. 
Elza Caskey, Glenn Waymire, Iva Robb, 
Grace Doehring, Rosie Krile, Anna 
Pfeiffer, Nellie Griffin, Esther Doehring. 
Fourth row: Sam Sharpless, Howard 
Cakey, Hobart Jones, Harry Robb, 
Elbert Griffin, Frieda Engel (teacher), 
Floyd Robb, Howard Price, Albert 

(continued from page 54) 

The first schoolbus was purchased in 1941, 
and in December of that year students were trans- 
ported to school for the first time. Carl Buesking, 
first bus driver, picked up pupils east of the high- 
way, dropped them off at school, and then ran a 
western route. Before this time, many students 
attended rural centers of learning, and the town 
students, naturally, walked to school. 

In 1941 board members now numbered five: 
Lauren Hamm, Orville Engel, Everett Storm, Fred 
Rincker, and Glen Radloff. Leonard Hewitt was 
the principal. 

Principals following Hewitt include Walter 
Wilson and L. T. Elam. Some of the teachers in 
the Strasburg High School in the 1940's were 
Sylvia Diel, Dorthy Anderman, John T. Middles- 
worth, Marie Weber, Jack Young, Thelma Thomp- 
son, Nona Bell Cruise, Paul Barnes, Mrs. Porter, and 
Charles Kell (who was drafted during the school 
year.) Graduates of 1944 remember that some 
boys in the class quit to go into service, and so did 
not graduate. During this period, seventh and 
eighth grade pupils had a fine course of study, 
including shop for the boys and home economics 
for the girls. 

County superintendents always paid un- 
announced visits to the classes two or three times 
during the schoolyear. Each teacher and his 
room tried to put their best foot forward when 
"visitors" came. J. Kenneth Roney, county super- 
intendent from 1939 to 1951, recalls Strasburg as 
a school which never had serious problems as some 
of the others did. 

In the late 1940's the high school that had 
seemed so large was becoming pretty crowded. 
State regulations made consolidation necessary 
among smaller school districts, and Strasburg was 
faced with a difficult decision. The entire com- 
munity was concerned. Should we combine with 
another town to form a new district, or lose our 
own territory completely to encroaching districts? 
Some discussed combining with Windsor schools. 
A decision was finally reached. We would unite 
with Stewardson and Mode to form a unit to be 
known as Stewardson-Strasburg Unit District 5A. 
Some local linguists suggested we combine the 
name into either Stewburg or Strasson, but the 
long, unwieldy name is still used, although the 
common title is shortened to S-S. 

A bond issue for a new school building carried 
in November of 1949. Twenty acres of land was 
purchased midway between the two towns, and 
the cornerstone for the new S-S Community Unit 
High School was laid September 22, 1950. The 
first superintendent of this consolidated unit was 
J. Harold Diel. 

For a time the high school students were 
divided, with the freshmen and sophomores attend- 
ing a temporary center in the old Stewardson school 
building, and the juniors and seniors of the district 
housed at Strasburg. The hot lunch program began 
now in 1951, with Martha Hood and Effie Wheat 
hired as first cooks at Strasburg. A modern 
kitchen was made in the south dressing room near 
the stage. 

The move to the new school building was 
finally made, and the entire high school was united 
in October, 1951. Now the unit junior high 
attendance center, with Roscoe Hash as principal, 
was at Strasburg in the top floor of the building, 
while grades one through six attended school in 
their own towns. A lower grade school was main- 
tained at Mound School until about 1950, and 
Mode was used until 1960. 

The last step in the school building program 
was taken in 1967. After construction of a new 
elementary center added to the high school plant, 
all students in the unit, kindergarten through senior 
high school, were bussed to the same building. 

Stewardson-Strasburg Unit District 5A now 
covers 112 square miles and student enrollment 
totals 521, of which number 192 pupils are in the 
high school and 329 children are enrolled in grade 
school. There is an approximate yearly payroll of 
$436,000.00, with a staff of thirty-six certified 
personnel. Four cooks and three helpers work in 
the cafeteria each school day; seven bus drivers are 
employed; four secretaries and four janitors are on 
the payroll. The newest additions to the curriculum 
are an art program and a high school building 
trades program, through which a home is being 
built in Stewardson. Unit superintendent is Lloyd 
T. Elam. High school principal is Donald P. 
Harrison, and Ralph Buesking is elementary princi- 

The first Strasburg school boards consisted of 
three members, and some of the earliest members 
include Reuben Spannagel, Rol Bartlett, Harry 
York, Martin Pfeiffer, and Alf Duling. Later the 

Stewardson-Strasburg Community Unit 5A. 

board was made up of five members. In 1951, at 
the time of consolidation, unit board members 
were Roy Rincker, Albert Vonderheide, Ed Reel, 
Clarence Wittenberg, G. A. Brummerstedt, Arthur 
Krumreich, and Glen Garrett. Present board mem- 
bers are Fred Gallagher, Joe Moomaw, Derry York, 
Bob Bridges, Charles Kessler, Gene Ohnesorge, and 

Dale Wirth. 

Strasburg's schools have a history filled with 
many outstanding teachers and dedicated board 
members. The names mentioned in this writing are 
but a few of these. A love of learning has always 
been a gift of the school system to the children 
of Strasburg throughout the years. 


"For God and Country" 

The community of Strasburg has always done 
its part when our country was engaged in war 
activity. During World War I, not only did it give 
time and money, but it gave the best of her boys. 
Patriotism was shown by the citizens who respond- 
ed to the Liberty Loan Drives, for the people were 
really awakened to their government's needs. The 
Red Cross worked regularly to send supplies to the 
soldiers and provided a comfort kit to each boy as 
he left for camp. Socks and sweaters were knitted 
and sent to the men in service. Of the scores of 

Red Cross Members during World War i. Left to right: 
Nora Weber, Ida Weber, Myrtle Ulmer, Aurora Hamm, 
Lydia Faster, Lizzie Ulmer, Oma Kull, Tillie Storm. 

men who went from the community, four gave 
their lives for their country. The first casualty, 
Henry C. Lading, lost his life in the torpedoing of 
the transport, Moldavia, as he. was crossing to 
France. Andrew E. Ruff was killed during the 
battle on the Hindenburg Line. Frederick W. Nippe 
contracted bronchial pneumonia after leaving an 
American port and died on the high seas! Henry 
Fred Pieper died of pneumonia after eight months 
in service at the base hospital at Camp Taylor, 

As the boys returned from the battle fields of 
Europe, heroes were found among them. Elmer P. 
Richards is the most decorated man in Shelby 

County, having received three medals, the Dis- 
tinguished Service Cross after being wounded, and 
two French decorations, the Meadille Millitair, and 
Croix de Guerre with Palm. Susa Risser was official- 
ly cited for valiant service. Harley Gill was wound- 
ed slightly, and Herman Doehring was gassed and 
had to spend several weeks in the hospital. All the 
young men who served during World War I were 
patriots, bravely doing their part for peace and 

Because of war raging in Europe, the first 
American peacetime draft act became law on 
September 16, 1940. A Selective Service System 
was set up and the young men of Strasburg com- 
munity soon were called into the armed forces for 
training. On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, 
when the alarming news of the bombing of Pearl 
Harbor was announced over the radio, our country 
became involved in war with Japan, and sub- 
sequently with Germany. Now our service men 
who soon could have been returning home had 
their time extended unitl six months after the end 
of World War II. Nearly all able-bodied young men 
in the community left their homes to serve their 
country, and many took an active part in the con- 
flicts in the European or Pacific war areas. An 
Honor Roll Board containing the names of all those 
in service, was erected in a prominent place along 
the highway. Two young men of Strasburg paid 

Honor Roll of Strasburg's service men in World War II. 

the supreme price by giving their lives. Kenneth 
Wilson, at age of twenty-three, was lost at sea in 

the Mediterranean with his entire company when 
his ship was hit by an aerial torpedo on April 20, 
1944. Clarence Baumgarten, a tail gunner in a 
bomber, was missing in action when his plane was 
lost over Europe. After almost thirty years, the 
wreckage of the plane was found and his identifi- 
cation confirmed. Melvard Deipholz was wounded 
and left for dead on the battlefield of Okinawa. 
Later he was found, taken to Tinnea, and then 
flown to California. He was brought to Great Lakes 
Naval Station for surgery and was discharged in 
April. After only four months at home, he became 
ill with malaria and then pneumonia, and died in 
July. Earl Daniels was wounded and captured and 
held prisoner by the Germans. Strasburg also had 
several young women who joined the service during 
World War II. 

Not only was the absence of the boys noticed 
at home, but people left at home were made aware 
in other ways that the war was going on. Food, 
gasoline, shoes, end many other items were limited. 
All families had to register, and a ration book was 
issued for each member. According to need, gaso- 
line stamps were apportioned to drivers of cars. 

These were valid for a certain period. Then a new 
series of stamps was issued, and the old ones were 
useless. Stickers reading "Is this trip really neces- 
sary?" were available to be put on the dash or 
inside the windshields of cars. Everyone was urged 
to plant a Victory Garden to supply more food. 
Empty tin cans, toothpaste tubes and cigarette 
packs were to be saved and turned in for collection. 
For better handling, the cans were to have both 
ends cut out and the cans smashed flat with the 
two ends placed inside. The tubes and cigarette 
packs were saved for the lead and tinfoil. Sugar for 
canning was allotted according to need, and many 
began to can fruit without sugar. Whenever such 
scarce items as rayon hose or facial tissues did be- 
come available, a long line of customers would form 
in hopes that the supply would last until they 
reached the front of the line. War Bond drives 
were held to encourage people to invest their 
money to help carry out the heavy expenses. 
Waste was discouraged, and everyone was urged to 
patch clothes and conserve everything possible. A 
slogan was put out that all were asked to follow: 
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." 

Volunteers await their turn to donate 
blood to the Red Cross blood bank. 
Strasburg has always been proud of their 
blood donation records. Over the years 
they have repeatedly met their quota. 

Both pictures depict one of the blood 
banks held in the 1940's in Strasburg -r* 
High School Gym. 

It is said that World War II killed more people, 
cost more money, damaged more property, and 
affected more persons than any other war. The war 
ended on September 2, 1945, and special services 
were held in the local churches to mark the event. 

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, and 
fighting ended on July 27, 1953. Although this 
was not a declared war, many men from the com- 
munity were drafted or enlisted in the armed forces, 
for the United States rushed great numbers of troops 
and supplies to the aid of the South Koreans. The 
Korean War was one of the bloodiest in history, but 
Strasburg had no casualties. 

With the drafting of young men continuing, 
the community could hardly realize when the 
Korean conflict ended and the Viet Nam fighting 
began. Strasburg was well represented with enlist- 

ments and drafting. It was a hard decision for a 
high school graduate to plan on a further education 
or to enlist and serve his country. David Boyer was 
wounded in action and he received the Bronze Star 
for valor in action and also the Purple Heart. Steve 
Giertz was wounded in action and received the 
Purple Heart, and also the Air Medal for more 
than 100 air assaults. In one month he took part 
in ninety air assaults. He received the Combat 
Infantry Badge and the Viet Nam Campaign and 
Service Medals. Ronald Cress received the Army 
Commendation Medal for bravery. During the year 
of 1973, this war has ended and most of our young 
men have returned home. Our hope is for a lasting 
peace as a reward for all those who courageously 
fought for our country. 


Depression Days 

As the 1930's came along, they brought the 
depression. Strasburg and its community suffered 
the same as everywhere else. Prices went way 
down and there was a lot of unemployment. This 
indeed was a sad time for many people. Some lost 
their life savings and even those who had always 
had plenty, almost became destitute. Corn was 
down to ten or twelve cents a bushel; beans down 
to thirty-three cents; fat hogs were two to two and 
a half cents a pound in Indianapolis; fat cattle were 
down to three to three and a half cents. In some 
cases an old sow or thin cow didn't even pay the 
hauling bill. 

Hired labor on the farm was a dollar a day or 
twenty-six dollars a month. Corn shucking was one 
cent a bushel. Broom corn cutters received ten 
cents ah hour. Gasoline was ten cents a gallon and 
some customers bought it by the dime's worth. 
Others charged it when they didn't have the dime. 

A plate lunch could be bought for twenty-five 
cents including the drink. Sandwiches were a 

A Chevrolet sport roadster with rumble seat 
was priced at $495. F.O.B. Ford cars ranged from 
$430. -$630. F.O.B. 

Coal was $3.50 a ton at the mine. However, 
some people having plenty of time and no money, 
went in "groups and did some strip-mining in the 
Trowbridge area. The coal was of very poor quality 
but the people did manage to keep warm. 

Money was so tight that in January of 1932, 
President Hoover made a plea to the nation, "Put 
hoarded money in circulation." 

In spite of hard times, the federal government 
raised the postage on a letter from two to three 
cents, July 1, 1932. 

During 1932, twenty-four persons in Shelby 
County were subjected to bankruptcy proceedings. 
Illinois led in farm bankruptcies at one time. A 
farm in the Middlesworth area was sold for $27.50 
an acre. One in the Mayflower area sold for $21 .00 

per acre. 

The federal government passed a bill known as 
the McNary-Haugen Bill in 1932. This was a farm 
program to try to ease the crisis among farm people. 
It had various phases, but the one most remembered 
was the hog or pig program. Hogs were so cheap, 
the government bought little pigs, killed them, and 
made them into tankage. This program wasn't 
accepted very well among the people of this 
vicinity. They couldn't bear the thought of wasting 
this meat. However, farmers who sold their" pigs to 
the government, got more money than the man 
who ted his corn to the hogs and then marketed 

In April of 1932, Shelby County received 
40,000 pounds of flour made from government 
wheat. It was distributed to the needy, through the 
Red Cross. Dr. Schroeder, of Strasburg, head of 
the Red Cross in this area, distributed these twenty- 
five pound sacks. 

The federal government set up an agency 
officially known as Emergency Conservation Work, 
but later it changed to the more popular name of 
Civilian Conservation Corps or C.C.C., in April 1933. 
This program was to provide employment among 
needy families; specifically for unmarried men 
between the age of seventeen and twenty-three. 
Several boys of this community received employ- 
ment in this way. The government paid thirty 
dollars a month. The boys received five dollars and 
twenty-five dollars was sent to their folks. To 
name a few projects carried out in this area: a grove 
of black locust was planted to check erosion on a 
farm, now owned by Ralph Reel; another such pro- 
gram was carried out on a farm that was and still is 
owned by Rozetta Fling; dams were built to stop 
erosion on a farm now known as the Schmitt Estate; 
multiflora rose was planted on the Raymond 
Schultz farm. The only cost, to the owner for this 
work, was the material used. 

On May 6, 1935, the federal government set 
up another program known as Work Projects 
Administration or W.P.A. This program was to 
cope with unemployment brought on by the 
depression. Nearly a fifth of the nation's workers 
who otherwise would have been on relief, benefited 
in this program. Several from this area received 
work in this way. They were paid fifty-seven dollars 

a month. In this community, a road was graveled 
from the west edge of town, west to the township 
line. At least four bridges were built in this area by 
W.P.A. labor, as was the gymnasium on the old high 
school in 1939. The government paid all labor and 
for a certain amount of material used in all projects. 
This program was phased out at the end of June, 

Clubs of Yesteryear 

Crochet Club 

During World War I when the local boys were 
away and the village girls had nothing to do, the 
Crochet Club was organized. They held meetings in 
the evenings until around 1920. Members included: 
Etta Risser, Lena Wilson, Drucella Kull, Agnes 
Keller, Lydia Faster, Elsie Siering, Rosie Ruff, Cora 
Ruff, Lula Ruwe, Mathilda Doehring, Emma Henne, 
Clara Bauer, Elsie Nippe, Rosa Risser, Rosie Bauer, 
and Lottie Schmitt. 

Marquette Club 

Records were found of a club in Strasburg's 
history that lasted only five months in 1895. 
Elaborate by-laws governed the "Marquette Club", 
which began with fourteen members and soon 
grew to thirty. Officers were Joseph Lowary, Pete 
York, Pete Wallace, and Ed Storm. After holding 
weekly social meetings and sponsoring a couple 
platform dances, the club records were stopped 
and no further record of the group can be located. 

Stitch and Chatter Club 

Many of the ladies of Strasburg spent after- 
noons sewing and doing handiwork, either for 
themselves or for others. In 1924 three ladies: 
Maye Storm (mother of Rip Storm), Jenny Martin, 
and Nellie Bingaman began an afternoon Stitch and 
Chatter Club in order to enjoy others' company as 
they worked. At first only a handful of women 
attended. Later there were twenty-five or thirty 
ladies listed as members, who took their sewing 
baskets to meet at each other's homes for work, 
"gossip", and refreshments. After the day's stitch- 
ing was put aside, the hostess served and the school 
children dropped in, just in time to snack, of 
course. Members included current pastor's wives, 
teacher's wives, and local seamstresses. The group 
remained active until the late 1960's. 

Parent- Teacher Association 

In Strasburg's early history, the entire town 
used the schoolhouse as a gathering place for social 
events. Spelling bees, geography matches, orations, 

debates, and plays were monthly entertainment for 
students and adults alike. 

From these gatherings arose a loosely-knit 
group known as the Strasburg Parent-Teacher 
Organization which preferred not to be bound by 
the formal national P.T.A. Teachers with their 
pupils prepared programs throughout the year, and 
local parents presented plays, quizzes, and other 
forms of entertainment at the monthly meetings. 
Refreshments were served, and large crowds attend- 
ed. Younger children crowded on the lower 
bleachers, stamping their feet in approval as their 
older brothers and sisters performed. Students 
gained poise and stage presence in these produc- 
tions, and it became a part of the learning process, 
as well as a fine opportunity for townspeople to 
become familiar with their school. Membership 
fees were ten cents a year, and the entire town was 
canvassed. Community-school relations were at a 
high, with school doors "open" and all welcomed. 

In 1952 the new Stewardson-Strasburg High 
School was opened, and the parent-teacher group 
was re-evaluated. The parents now joined the 
national organization, and 136 charter members 
formed the S-S Parent-Teacher Association. First 
officers were: Floyd Swank, president; Maurine 
Kull, vice-president; Marcella Brummerstedt, secre- 
tary; Charles Augenstein, treasurer. Following pre- 
sidents were: Fred Patterson, Velma Weber, Orville 
Engel, Mabel Keller, Charles Quast, John Warren, 
and Vera Alwardt. 

This group worked closely with the schools 
for ten years, but in 1962 they disbanded. Many 
worthwhile programs were presented including 
lectures by state police officers and the first woman 
Illinois Cabinet officer. Taking part in the state 
scholarship program, this unit was proud of two 
district scholarship winners from our school: 
Yvonne Brandt (1956) and Patsy Kessler (1958). 
Nutrition classes for adults were sponsored by the 
P.T.A. , and various money raising projects were 
held to further school activities. 

Later, other attempts at forming parent groups 
have been made, but at the present, no such group 
is functioning. 

Todays Organizations 

Senior Citizens' Club 

Thirty interested area senior citizens organized 
in the Strasburg Community Building in October, 
1971. Monthly meetings are held with a potluck 
dinner being served. Although the group meets 
primarily to have a good time, on some occasions 
topics are presented or travel slides are shown. 
First officers were: Merle Buesking, Rufus Kull, 
and Frieda Lading. 

The club is still growing. Fifty or sixty people 
enjoy attending each month. 

Lion's Club 

Nineteen men of the community charted the 
Strasburg Lions' Club in February, 1956. They 
were: Leslie Drake, Lloyd T. Elam, Fred Gill, 
Oscar Hood, James Jeffers, Don Keller, Ivan Keller, 
Walter Keller, Ken Knop, Frank Laurent, Don 
Lowry, Robert Merriman, Dale Rincker, Leon 
Ruwe, Glenn Schauberger, James D. Sheehan, Milo 
Smith, Don Webner, and Dale York. 

Annual events sponsored include the Stras- 
burg Homecoming each summer, the June Chicken 
Fry, Santa's Christmas visit, fruit distribution to 
the home-bound to those who live alone, and the 
summer ball program at the park. 

Monies raised by club projects go toward 
community improvements and to national club 
projects. The park pavilion was one of the first 
club projects; and the local Lions, along with the 
American Legion Post 289, are responsible for the 
new Community Building erected in 1971. 

Men who have served as president are: Ken 
Knop, Don Lowry, Ivan Keller, Gene Kull, B. C. 
Stilabower, Roy Rincker, Delbert Stremming, Silas 
Boyer, Clarence Buesking, Carl Buesking, Larry 
Lenz, Guy Juhnke, and presently, Bob Falk. 

Strasburg Lions' Club has grown steadily and 
present enrollment is sixty-one members. 

Strasburg Unit of the Shelby County 
Memorial Hospital Auxiliary 

Many of our townspeople used the Shelby 
County Memorial Hospital at Shelbyville, and there 
developed an interest in Strasburg in supporting 
the hospital. Shelbyville auxiliary members talked 
to Strasburg ladies and on April 1, 1963, the'Stras- 
burg Unit of the Shelby County Memorial Hospital 
Auxiliary was organized with three members. They 
were: Mrs. Carl Buesking, Mrs. John Neunaber, and 
Mrs. Floyd Weber. By the end of that year, they 
grew to six members as Mrs. David Schultz, Mrs. 
Walter Schwane, and Mrs. Elizabeth Diepholz joined. 
Membership currently is thirty-five to forty ladies. 

The Strasburg Unit does all it can to expand 
the services of the hospital and to aid the new 
Medical Center. Several members do hospital 
volunteer work, tray favors are donated, birthday 
flowers are presented to patients, and community 
fund-raising events are sponsored. All proceeds go 
to the hospital. 

Square Dancers 

The local square dance group consists of about 
twenty couples of Strasburg. They hold dances 
twice monthly in the Community Building. Any 
square dancer is welcome, and crowds sometimes 
number nearly one hundred. Local couples take 
turns hosting the affair, and finger foods are pro- 
vided by Strasburg dancers. 

Various callers are featured on the yearly 
schedule of the dance group. 

4-H in Strasburg 

The first 4-H club in Strasburg is reported to 
be the "St. Paul's Busy Bee Sewing Club", started 
in 1925 with Mrs. Schroeder as leader. Members 
were Marie Weber, Pearl Schroeder, Nita Vogel, 
Oma Lading, Eda Roellig, Leona Ruff, and Leta 
Roellig. Other leaders of this group were Mrs. 
Anna Wirth, Grayce Schroeder, Florence Lading, 
and Faye E. Webner. 

Throughout the years there have been more 
than 350 members involved in various 4-H activities 
in the Strasburg area. 

In 1929the"Lucky Four Leaf" club is recorded 
with Mamie Kircher as leader. Mrs. Eliza Falk led 
the "Flying Needle" club in 1935. 

According to 4-H records, the "Homemakers 
Club" began in 1937 with Lena Wilson as leader. 
Other adults who helped this club are: Martha 
Hood, Ava Jean Griffith, Mrs. Honore Lenz, and 
Vera Ulmer. 

In 1944 Mrs. May Richards led the group 
named the "Happy Healthy Helping Hands". Mrs. 
Vernie Doehring also helped this group, which was 
last listed in 1949. 

The "Richland Merrymakers" was led by Mrs. 
Wm. Smith, Jr. and by Maurine Krile in the 1940's. 

Lillian Lenz led the "Willing Workers" in 
1948. Other leaders listed are: Viola Lueck, Mrs. 
Fred Krile, Mrs. A. Goldberger, Wanda Ensign, 
Martena Elam, Patsy Lenz, Chris Storm, Kathryn 
Schmitt, Mary Keller, Sandra Figgins, Roberta 
Ensign, Carol Schmitt, Helen Smith, Norma Rose 
Crutcher, Lila Storm, Karen Glawatz, and Maxine 

In 1960 Betty Lowry organized the "Bonnie 
Belles". Helen Smith, Mrs. Wilbur Waters, Grace 
Kull, Patsy Lenz, Ruby Krile, Marilyn Patterson, 
and Gail Rincker have helped with this group. 

Dale Rincker and John Smith began the 
"Strasburg 4-H Stars" in 1968. Dave Smith has also 
helped lead this club. 

Presently the two clubs in the area are the 
"Bonnie Belle" club with twenty-three members, 
led by Gail Rincker, and the "Tailtwisters", with 
seventeen members led by Dale Rincker. 

Home Extension 

The Richland Unit of the Shelby County Home 
Bureau was instituted in September, 1936, at the 
home of Mrs. Willie Smith, near Strasburg. First 

officers were: Mrs. Willie Smith, chairman; Mrs. 
Oscar Storm, vice-chairman; Miss Mamie Kircher, 
secretary-treasurer. This group was automatically 
a part of the county, state, and national group. 

In 1962 the county organization name was 
changed, and the local group became the Richland 
Homemaker's Extension Unit. 

Many tours, trips, and educational activities 
highlight the unit's projects. 

Although the unit serves in the annual 4-H 
and Junior Fair food stand, the group is not as 
active as formerly. Several charter members, ages 
eighty to ninety-two belong, but cannot participate 
in all programs. Current attendance includes: 
Ethel Duncan, Maye Krile, Addie Richards, Bertha 
Storm, Mary Ulmer, Viola Ruff, Louise Gill ins, 
Lena Weber, Frieda Brehmer, Mary Krile, Marie 
Rincker, Nina Widdersheim, Velma Weber, and 
Gail Rincker. 

American Legion Post 289 

The Liberty Post of the American Legion was 
organized in Strasburg in 1919. The first Com- 
mander was Edwin H. Faster, and first Adjutant 
was Charles Throckmorton. 

The first members, including charter members, 
were: Harley Gill, Henry Popendieker, Charles 
Wilson, Fred Popendieker, Charles Throckmorton, 
Charles Rosine, George E. Kull, Martin Mueller, 
Martin Tieman, Edward Doeding, Nelson Ruff, 
Herman Doehring, Martin Nippe, Charles Williams, 
Theo. Von Behren, Arthur Unruh, Glen Waymire, 
Edwin Ruwe, Albin Foelsing, Lawrence Kendall, 
M. G. Ulmer, Gus Cress, Ed Ostermeier, Phillip 
Tieman, Otto Arnald, Ed Hartman, Robert Cress, 
Arthur Gritzmaker, Bruce Curry, Chris Kircher, J. 
Harvey Friesner, Carl Gatchell, Ray Russell, Cleo 
Whitlatch,Wm. Hellman, Ralph Navis, Edwin Faster, 
Orville Blue, and Wm. Mueller. Veterans with 
fifty years of continuous membership recently 
received life-time memberships from the post. 

After World War II, the membership reached 
a high of 115. Legion meetings were held at 
various places for years until 1958 when a Legion 
Home was purchased. It was on Commercial 
Street where the Community Building now is. This 
meeting place was open to all charitable organiza- 
tions. In 1971, the Legion donated $4,000.00 and 
the site for the Community Building to the town. 

The Legion supports many worthy programs. 
The post is especially interested in the hospitalized 
war veteran and the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors 
Children's Home at Normal. 

Many community projects are supported by 
Legion Post 289. The ballpark, built by the Legion 
was turned over after its completion to Strasburg. 
The Little Boys' Softball League and the County 
Baseball League was started by the Legion. Post 
289, along with Stewardson, supports the S-S 
American Legion Baseball team. Local Boy Scouts 
and Cub Scouts are sponsored by the Legion. Each 
year a boy is sent to Boy's State, and school medals 
are awarded to graduates. A yearly Halloween 
festival and a spring community sale are held. The 
Legion sponsors Liberty Amusements which owns 

carnival rides, and this is a summer money-making 

American Legion Auxiliary Liberty Unit 289 

The American Legion Auxiliary Liberty Unit 
289 was organized in 1946 with thirty charter 
members, namely: Mamie Hirtzel, Mamie Rosine, 
Maurine Kull, Goldie Nippe, Ethel Harmon, Virginia 
Griffith, Marjorie Green, Audrey Falk, Anna Wirth, 
Lillian Wittenberg, Cora Ostermeier, Lizzie Giertz, 
Mable Schmitt, Pauline Tate, Aurora Kull, Pat Kull, 
Opal Keller, Frieda Daniels, Noberta Renshaw, 
Louise Kircher, Mabel Weber, Marjorie Tate, Ruth 
Meeker, Cora Von Behren, Lena Wilson, Fay Eileen 
Storm, Rose Storm, Helen York, Myrtle Ulmer, and 
Vera Ulmer. First president was Lena Wilson. 

The American Legion Auxiliary was formed 
to aid the American Legion in their program of 
peacetime service to America. There are twenty- 
three different programs the Auxiliary takes part in. 
Of special interest is the rehabilitation, at Danville, 
of the disabled veteran, and Illinois Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Children's Home at Normal, which pro 
vides for the welfare of children who have no 
homes. The unit yearly sends a high school girl to 
Girls' State, sponsors poppy sales, donates to a 
foreign country, conducts the Americanism essay 
contest, and collects coupons for equipment. 

Presently there are forty-six senior members 
and twenty junior members. Charter members who 
have held continuous membership are: Lena 
Wilson, Mabel Schmitt, Cora Ostermeier, Mamie 
Rosine, Cora Von Behren, Louise Kircher, Mamie 
Hirtzel, Myrtle Ulmer, Mabel Weber, Ruth Meeker, 
Noberta Renshaw, and Aurora Kull. Gold Star 
mothers are Lena Wilson and Louise Gillins. 


Although scouting was introduced to the 
United States in 1910, it was another fifty years 
before Strasburg had a Boy Scout troop. Church 
fathers, who had been opposed to scouting for 
religious reasons, approved the organization, and 
in 1960, a troop was formed with Ray Price as 
Scout Master. Not only was Ray a good and 
willing worker with boys, but he was the only man 
in town who had been in Boy Scouts (in Shelby- 
ville), and the by-laws stated that an ex-Scout must 
be Scout Master. American Legion Post 289 spon- 
sored the organization. Later the same year three 
Cub Scout Dens were formed with Earl Renshaw as 
Cub Master. Den Mothers were Elaine Merriman, 
Noberta Renshaw, and Kathleen Thomas; Norma 
Rose Crutcher was assistant. Later Paul Thomas, 
Linel Thomas, Derry York and Delbert Stremming 
were Scout Masters. In addition to the traditional 
Scout activities, these local boys learned to swim, 
build houses for vanishing bluebirds, take field 
trips, and help in various community activities. 

Gradually the members of these original dens 
and packs outgrew the organization and passed the 
age of seventeen, so the project was temporarily 

In 1972 Cub Scout Pack 142 was reorganized 

with thirty boys joining from Strasburg, Stewardson 
and Mode. Adult leaders were: Joyce Bowers, 
Evelyn Augenstein, Marjorie Fluga, Ada Foreman, 
Lynda Mason, Shirley Stremming, Joan Gallagher, 
and Dave Durbin. This group of boys was just as 
active as the first. They have marched in the 
Memorial Day parade, attended Akela Days at 

Camp Robert Faries in Decatur, and enjoyed the 
Ice Capades at Champaign. 

Presently there are ten boys in the Cub Scouts. 
Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays after school. 
Pack meetings are held monthly at the Community 
Building. Adult leaders now are Evelyn Augenstein, 
Janet DePriest, and Dave Durbin. 


Fire Department 

Citizens in Strasburg, realizing the need for a 
city fire department, organized the Strasburg Volun- 
teer Fire Department in August, 1912. The first 
members were: Dr. F. W. Risser, J. E. Weber, A. C. 
Duling, Chester Marsh, J. C. Klump, Louis Weber. 
Wm. Wilson, Henry Faster Jr., C. C. Beck, and Wm. 
W. Engel. Martin Hamm was first fire chief, and, 
H. M. York served as assistant. This group donned 
fireman hats and long black slicker raincoats when 
called to duty. Between fires, pumping out wells 
and cleaning tiles was a regular activity. 

The bucket brigade, formed in 1895, was soon 
made obsolete by the hand pump, which was 
operated by four men like a railroad handcar. This 
was usually pulled to fires by hand in town, but it 
could be hooked to a team or an auto. Later a 
pump with a gasoline motor was' used. This again 
was generally transported by the men. At this 
time, the department also owned a ladder wagon 
and a two wheeled hose cart. 

Fires were fought with the hand pump until 
1923 when a Model T 1923 Ford truck equipped 
with a three cylinder piston pump was purchased 
and used. 

In 1953 the present International truck with 
modern pumper and 850 gallon water capacity was 
bought. At the same time a drive was organized 

to include the farmers in the fire protection area. 
This met with good response. Farmers may be- 
come members for a fee of twenty-five dollars per 
set of buildings and ten cents per acre of ground. 
$100.00 is charged for a fire call, and is usually 
taken care of by the insurance company, if insured. 

A Ford truck equipped with a 1,000 gallon 
water tank and pumper was purchased in 1966 to 
fight field and grass fires. 

The present fire department is a member of 
the Old National Trail Firefighters Assn. and con- 
sists of twenty-five members. Officers are: Robert 
Falk, Fire chief; Donald Webner, assistant chief; 
Elmer Staehli, president; Gene Stremming, vice 
president; Floyd Weber, secretary; Guy Juhnke, 
treasurer. Two secretaries have served the organi- 
zation: Henry Faster Jr. 1912-1944, and Floyd 
Weber 1945 - . 

The fire house was built in 1914. The original 
fire bell is still in the building. The electric fire 
siren on a forty-five foot tower was installed in 

To report a fire now, the phone number 
4-3121 is dialed, and this rings the fire phones in 
fifteen homes in Strasburg and the volunteer 
firemen respond. 

1923 Ford fire truck. 

Water Department 

Water was never too plentiful in the Strasburg 
area, and residents had to rely on a supply from 
shallow wells and cisterns on their own property. 
Even in the early days it was not uncommon for 
these wells to go dry during the summer months. 
When homes became modernized, more water than 
ever was needed, and many house-holders made a 
regular practice of buying water and having it 
hauled in to their wells. Especially during the 
extremely dry years of 1954-55, the water shortage 
became more acute, and efforts were made to 
secure a water system to serve the community. 

The first step was to find a suitable source of 
supply that would be adequate and meet certain 
standards of quality. For more than twenty years, 
test wells were dug at various promising locations, 
but none could produce the amount needed. 
Finally four and one half miles southeast of town, 
a test revealed water enough to warrant digging a 

The next step was financing the project. 
Application had been made to the Farmer's Home 
Administration for a forty-year loan of $220,000 
and was accepted provided the town could guarantee 
175 users. The town officials worked hard at this, 
and got 201 subscribers who signed up for a mini- 
mum monthly payment of five dollars for 2000 
gallons of water. Work started in September, 1965. 
The engineers were Marbry & Johnson of Robinson, 
Illinois, and the installing contractor was Henry 
Holkenbrink of Effingham. Elaborate dedication 
ceremonies took place on Friday, February 18, 
1966, and the water was turned on the next day. 
The Village officials at this time were: Harrison 
Ulmer, Pres.; Paul Juhnke, Clarence Buesking, 
W. O. Keller, Elmer Staehli, Wm. R. Engel, and 
Floyd Weber. Trustees: Don Keller, Clerk. 
Donald Webner was the former village mayor 
during the time when much of the preliminary 
work and planning were being done. 

The system has a 50,000 gallon tank on an 
elevated tower located in the northwest part of 
town, on land donated to the village for that 
purpose by the Walters sisters. The plant itself is 
located south-east of town on a tract leased from 
Irvin Figgins. The plant consists of a 65 foot well, 
pumps, and a purifying system. These are enclosed 
in a concrete block structure. The whole operatkm 
is radio controlled to maintain the required pressure 
at all times. 

A chlorinator has been used since the begin- 
ning to provide chloride treatment of the water, 
and flouridation was installed in May, 1968, to 
comply with state regulations. This increased the 
cost to users to a $5.50 monthly minimum charge. 
Water samples are taken monthly and mailed to the 
state for testing to insure the purity of the water. 

There are at present 205 metered customers 
using an average of 35,000 gallons daily. Area 
farmers also benefit by being able to obtain water 
from the Water Salesman located in town at the 
firehouse, where water can be obtained day or 
night the year round from a metered dispenser. An 
average of 40,000 gallons of water is bought and 
taken out by individuals each month. 

Floyd E. Weber has been superintendent and 
operator of the plant, and also serves as treasurer. 
Velma C. Weber serves as bookkeeper. 

The water system also serves some homes 
located along or near the main line and provides 
water at St. Paul's Church and School and Unit 5A. 
Thirty-one fire hydrants provide ample protection 
from fires, whereas the fire truck formerly had to 
rely on water from the town wells, which some- 
times proved inadequate. A new laundromat and 
car wash have been erected, and builders of new 
homes no longer have to meet the expense of 
digging a well of their own before starting to build. 
The water system has brought many benefits to the 
town and community. 

Strasburg Today 

Dale York, proprietor of York's Cafe, states 
that his brick building was built before 1900 by 
Martin Hamm, for use as a clothing store. Elmer 
York, Dale's father, and Bill Telgman hauled more 
than 100,000 bricks from Stewardson for the 

Van Rheeden sold clothes here later, and in 
1914 Elmer York bought the building. Here he 
managed a clothing store until about 1935. These 
businesses were all in the upstairs with the base- 
ment being used mainly for storage until 1930 
when Elmer York started a restaurant below the 
store. He operated both businesses for awhile. 

The basement was used from 1920 to 1926 
by Dale's brother Gay, who sold auto parts, tires, 

and batteries there. They pumped gas, and even 
Dale helped, although he was so young he used 
both hands to crank the gas pump. 

In 1930 Elmer York built the "Green Lan- 
tern" onto the building's east side. Pop, sandwiches, 
ice cream, and candy were sold here during the 
summers by Aurora and Redith, daughters of 
Elmer. Dale removed this in 1946 because the 
structure made the cafe entrance confusing to the 

Dale recalls working at this location, first 
part-time for his father, and then full time begin- 
ning in 1937. In 1941 Dale opened York's Cafe. 
Feeling that a small town in itself would not 
attract customers, he made excellent food the 

Strasburg Today 

Photo by: Ernie Newberry, Jr. 

speciality of the house. The kitchen addition was 
constructed in 1946, and Dale now has five people 
working there on weekends and another five 
employed out front. During the week, fewer 
employees are needed. 

Strasburg and York's are synonymous to 
people for miles around. Fanciers of fine foods 
have flocked to Dale York's for years. 

In 1893, John N. Poe built the livery barn in 
downtown Strasburg. The building is mortise and 
tenon, and fastened with wooden pegs. This busi- 
ness changed hands many times. Louie Buesking 
ran the livery barn, as did George Gill. Owners 
include Bill Bauer, Pete Buesking, and Shorty 

The auto forced the close of this business 
around 1920. 

This building remained empty for several 
years, used only for machinery storage. In 1935, 
G. B. Ulmer purchased the barn, and in 1947 the 
building was remodeled, and Wm. Juhnke with his 
sons, Paul and Guy, began the feed business here. 
Wm. V. Juhnke returned in 1967. Serving the area 
farmers, Paul and Guy Juhnke grind and mix feeds, 
handle bag and bulk feeds, and sell livestock supplies 
and seeds. 

Since the restaurant in town has closed, 
Juhnke's have a coffee pot in their office, and 
many now enjoy a cup of coffee and the day's 
news at Juhnke's. 

Theo. Alwardt farms two miles south and 
one mile east of Strasburg. In 1970 he became the 
Shell Oil Company truck salesman in our area. Now 
he represents the Sunoco Oil Company. Even 
though the Alwardts plan to move to Stewardson 
soon, Theo, will continue to serve our community. 

The Standard Oil Company is represented in 
Strasburg by C. E. Buesking. 

In 1920 a bulk plant was built in town and 
Howard Price was the first agent. In 1923 M. G. 
Ulmer took over full distribution for Standard 
Oil, and he operated the business until 1950. 
When Martin Ulmer returned, Clarence Buesking 
continued the service. 

A 250 gallon delivery truck was used in 1920; 
through the years business has increased so that at 
the present, a 1500 gallon truck is used. 

Strasburg is one of the best agricultural com- 
munities in the country, and the Standard Oil 
business is ever-growing here. C. E. Buesking 
currently serves an area of 200 square miles. 

Derry York, owner of York Bin Company 
began his business in 1965 at the southwest edge of 
Strasburg. He started by selling Superior Grain 
Bins and various types of grain handling equipment. 
In two years be won the company award for sales, 
excellent service and installation. 

In 1967 Derry changed to Butler Bins. Each 
year Derry's company has grown in size. Presently 
there are three warehouses and three offices, with 
additional employees and staff required each year. 

Derry represents the central zone dealers at 
Butler Company meetings, and he serves on the 
twelve man Butler Agri-Council. 

Derry's farm and York Bin Company were 
annexed into the Strasburg city limits in 1973. 

Since 1947 Lawrence D. Biehler has owned 
and operated the Biehler Hatchery Company which 
dates back to 1911. 

John Biehler, Lawrence's father, came to 
Strasburg around 1908. He lived in the Northeast 
part of town and here he had a few setting hens. 
Although he and Louie Figge owned a harness shop 
downtown for awhile, John Biehler soon got into 
the hatchery business. 

At the present location, the first structures 
to be erected were the two white frame buildings. 
In 1936 the brick building was constructed, and 
this houses the office and incubator room. The 
feed building to the front was added in 1947. 

Lawrence's wife Gail handles the office work 
at the hatchery. Since 1954 Dwight Lading has 
been employed as Biehler's right hand man. 

In 1961 a poultry farm was purchased. Larry 
Black has lived on the farm since 1966. Here one 
day old chicks grow to twenty week pullets that 
sell as layers to other growers. Biehlers presently 
have five other poultry farms under contract. 

The early business was largely to local farmers 
who nearly all raised poultry. In later years as 
eggs and broiler production specialized, the egg pro- 
duction was expanded. Now nearly all egg pro- 
duction is on a contract basis with the producer, 
pullet supplier, and feed supplier sharing income 
and expenses. 

Glen Brandt and his son Frank hauled milk 
and ice cream for twenty-one years for Litchfield 

In 1964 Glen Brandt began dealing in grain. 
When he retired in 1970, Frank Brandt took over. 
Brandt's elevator is located two miles south of 
Strasburg. Grain is bought from local farmers and 
it is trucked to St. Louis, Wayne City, Decatur, or 

Besides dealing in grain and engaging in farm- 
ing, the Brandt family now raise and show 
Appaloosa horses. 

John Wittenberg and his wife Edith operate 
the Wittenberg Grain Company north of Strasburg. 

John recalls that the business was started in 
1945 when he purchased a used John Deere corn 
sheller. He shelled corn for neighboring farmers 
and trucked it to St. Louis. Bagged fertilizer was 
hauled back to the area. For twenty-five years, the 
Wittenberg's were thus engaged. 

When bulk fertilizer became popular, John 
decided to drop the fertilizer part of the business 
and specialize only in grain handling. The new 
elevator was built on the farm in 1961. Witten- 
berg's is now the largest grain disposing company in 
central Illinois, buying from local farmers and 
hauling to market. Four truck drivers are employ- 

Main Street-Strasburg 1973. 

Strasburg Park. 

Gail Biehler, Lawrence Biehler, and Dwight 
Lading at Biehler's Hatchery. 

Pictured in a Youngscraft workshop are left 
to right: Dale and Emily Young, Dee Pieper, 
Jim Elam, Paul Juhnke, Larry Giertz; seated: 
Roger Schokley, Ronald Apke, and Ronald 

Strasburg State Bank employees: Roy Rincker, 
Linda Cress, Evelyn Augenstein, and Nita 

Kull Brothers, left to right: Loretta Kull 
Carl Kull, Grace Kull, and Merl Kull. 

si\ .^>r'^ 

Earl Renshaw and Larry Renshaw are shown 
in Renshaw's Superway. 

Guy Juhnke and Paul Juhnke at the feed mill. 




1 f Rfi 

■*! h 

Dale York's Cafe. 

(continued from page 69) 

ed, and John and Edith handle the office and 
elevator work. 

John's son, John Jr., is in charge of the farm- 
ing, but he also drives a truck and helps at the 
elevator when needed. 

John Wittenberg has nothing but praise for 
the people in this area saying, "This community, 
in my estimation, cannot be beat." 

In 1921 G. B. Ulmer started hatching chicks 
with a few small incubators. Soon he expanded 
and erected a building by his parents' home north 
of where W. R. Grace Company is now located. 
Several thousand chicks were hatched here weekly, 
and all were sent by parcel post to a wholesaler in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Ulmer's Hatchery was consumed by fire in 
1925. All was lost - office equipment, records, 
and supplies, as well as 40,000 eggs that were in the 
process of incubation. 

The business began again in a vacant building, 
formerly a blacksmith shop, at the east end of 
Commercial Street. In the fall, "Dub" purchased 
his present location and the hatchery was built 
here, now being operated by "Dub" and his wife, 
the former Alice Kull. 

By this time nearly all the chicks were sold 
locally. A brooding capacity of several thousand 
was added. 

A hobby of the Ulmer's had grown since 
1950, and all enjoy their little roadside zoo of 
peafowl, pheasants, quail, geese, and "Mr. Hootie". 

Ulmer's Hatchery has been operating under 
the same owners, longer than any other business 
now in Strasburg. For fifty-two years, "Dub" 
Ulmer has been in the hatchery business. 

Dale Young, owner of Youngscraft Cabinets, 
began his business when he was eighteen years old. 
In the Abe Young building on the east end of 
Commercial Street, Dale made cabinets, repaired 
furniture, and did upholstering. 

Dale's wife, the former Emily Mulvaney, has 
helped in the business since 1950. Dale served in 
the Korean War, and when he returned, he con- 
tinued with cabinet making. In 1955 he was 
operating three workshops in town - in the Abe 
Young building, the Bill Hamm building, and in the 
former Green Garage. Seven or eight cabinet- 
makers were employed by this time. 

Dale expanded and incorporated, but diffi- 
culties with faulty glue contributed to his com- 
pany's bankruptcy in 1960. In just a short while, 
customers were again asking for cabinets crafted 
by Dale, and he resumed business. 

In 1965, one of the town's worst fires destroy- 
ed Dale's main manufacturing plant. Dale pur- 
chased the former Weber store building, and this 
workshop remains the hub of Youngscraft Cabinets. 

Dale recalls the first kitchen layout he designed 
It was done for Martin Kull, and is still in the home 
now owned by Pete Buesking. 

Formica was used exclusively by Youngscraft 
Cabinets beginning in 1963. Dale pioneered Formi- 

ca. The first Formica cabinets in St. Louis were 
put in by Dale twenty-two years ago. Youngscraft 
Cabinets, distinctive in design, are used in fine 
homes and businesses throughout Illinois. The 
John Hancock Building in Chicago and the Kran- 
nert Art Center at the U. of I. are just two of the 
buildings which contain Youngscraft Cabinets. 
Designing and building kitchens, vanities, office 
furniture, and store fixtures is Dale's speciality. 

Dale's business is ever-changing and expand- 
ing. He has recently ventured into a new line of 
manufacturing a patented vending machine for 8 
track stereo tapes. Dale is president of the Sanibel 
Manufacturing Company, which will produce this 
vending machine for world-wide distribution. 

The Bill Hamm building at the east end of 
Commercial Street mentioned by Dale Young and 
owned now by Dale was built by Harmon Dannen- 
berg in 1907 for a restaurant. He married John 
Ebmeier's sister and he remained here in business 
until 1912 or 1913. James Wiandt's Jewelry Shop 
was in the east part of the building at one time. 
Charlie Miller had a saloon there, also. C. C. 
Beck's Grocery Store operated in this building for 
years until 1931. Other groceries there include 
Gaylord Ulmer's and Ray Price and Walter Kull's. 
The building was owned for years by Martin Hamm, 
later by Lauren Hamm. W. O. Keller purchased the 
building from the Hamm estate, and Dale Young 
acquired the structure from him. 

Beauty shops in the Strasburg area are: The 
Beauty Box, formerly Max Weber's Insurance office, 
located in Strasburg's Commercial Street and oper- 
ated by Joann Neimerg; Clara's Beauty Shop 
operated by Clara Durbin in her home since 1969; 
and York's Beauty Salon, operated now by Debbie 
Thoele, in the Derry York residence. 

Jerry Kessler purchased the John Radloff 
home on Route 32 in Strasburg. Here he opened 
Jerry's Barber Shop in 1971. Jerry is busy shaping 
hair, giving haircuts and shampoos. 

Roger Rentfro bought Ivan Keller's building 
just east of Renshaw's, and began a Recreation 
Center in Strasburg in 1973. The center is open 
in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays. 
People of all ages may enjoy playing pool, ping- 
pong, or other games here, and snacks are available. 

Roger also has established a television and 
stereo repair shop in the rear of the building. 

This building was built by J. J. Kull for a 
saloon. Others, including a Buell and Son, operated 
this saloon later. O. O. Kull remembers working in 
Chris Kircher's hardware and implement store 
here from 1925 until 1928. The equity moved into 
this structure then, and Orval managed this busi- 
ness, which he then bought in 1932. Orval pur- 
chased the building from the Kull estate. He 
operated the O. 0. Kull Grocery there until 1955 
when Ivan Keller purchased the establishment and 
opened Keller's Grocery. 

Nippe's Garage, located in the west part of 

Kull Brother's Hardware Building, is operated by 
Charles Nippe. He has done general repairs there 
since 1964 when the business was purchased from 
Emil Ulmer. 

Vern Oliver was the first mechanic at this 
location. When 0. A. Green had the garage. Shorty 
Lading handled the repair jobs. In 1940, Emil 
Ulmer and Curtis Ostermeier took over the shop. 
Harrison Ulmer also worked as mechanic with his 
father here for several years. 

Falk's Repair Shop is owned by Robert Falk. 
Bob Specializes in farm machinery repair work. 
Farmers around Strasburg are fortunate to have an 
expert mechanic in town. He began his business in 
1959, purchasing his shop at the east of Commer- 
cial Street from Wm. W. Engel and Sons. 

Bob worked for Wm. W. Engel and Sons, John 
Deere Dealer, as a mechanic beginning in 1946, 
until Engel's went out of business in 1959. 

The back room on his shop was built for an 
ice house where ice cut from local ponds was 
stored in sawdust for use during the next summer. 
At one time the front of the shop was used as a 
chicken dressing plant. Bob relates a tale told by 
Art Unruh. Art said that there are three bottles of 
home brew on the bottom of a well under the 
floor. The bottles were tied on a string and were 
lowered into the well to cool them. The string 

Gene Kull began selling fertilizers and 
chemicals in Strasburg in 1966. Grace Greentown 
is located on the G. B. Ulmer property two blocks 
south of the ball park. 

Gene supplies area farmers and is especially 
busy during farming season. Gene employs Charles 
Culver, and in rushed times, his father Rufus Kull 

Don Keller of Strasburg began in November, 
1952, as Insurance Agent for Country Companies. 
Don works out of the office in the Farm Bureau 
Building in Shelbyville. He also has an office in his 
home in the west part of town. 

Don sells all types of insurance, including 
life, casuality, fire and marine insurance, and 
handles an investment plan. 

Kull Brothers' Hardware Store is owned by 
Merle and Carl Kull. They began their business in 

The store building on Route 32, was originally 
built by George E. Kull and "Sep" Swigart for 
automobile sales and service. Green's Dodge-Ply- 
mouth Garage was later in this building. 

Carl Kull served in World War II. He and 
Merle purchased the building, and when Carl 
returned from service, they went to Danville to 
buy hardware supplies to stock the store. 

Electricity came into the Strasburg area in 
1941-42, but the war halted this work until 1946. 
When Kull Brothers began their business, they did 
lots of REA wiring in the community. The first 
appliance line they handled was Frigidaire. As 

homes were wired, waiting lists formed for refriger- 
ators and other appliances. 

At first Kulls also sold gasoline and oil and 
had a grease rack in the rear of the store. They 
were dealers for Kaiser-Frazer autos. After the auto 
agency was dropped, the brothers expanded their 
wiring and plumbing work, and stocked more hard- 
ware and different lines of home appliances. 

This is a family store, with Carl taking charge 
of selling, Merle repairing and installing, and their 
wives, Loretta and Grace, minding the store. Other 
family members help as needed. 

For several years, Kull Brothers has been the 
only home and appliance store in Strasburg. 

Burgess Studios, owned by Carroll Burgess of 
Strasburg, was begun in March, 1973, in his home. 
The building on Commercial Street owned by 
W. 0. Keller since 1951 was purchased, remodeled, 
and serves as office for the Burgess photography 
business. Studio portraits are taken here. 

Carroll Burgess spends most of his time on the 
road photographing in stores throughout Illinois 
and into Missouri and Indiana. 

The building Carroll Burgess purchased was 
built in 1900 by Mary and Mattie Richards for a 
hat shop. Mary had the hat shop in the front, and 
Mattie did sewing in two rooms to the rear. A 
living room and two small bedrooms above the 
shop were where the Richards sisters lived. Later 
Myrtle Beck had a hat shop here. 

Owners listed on the abstract include Wm. 
Engel in 1910, Martin Hamm, H. H. Buesking, 
Ben Kull, John Anderson and George Lloyd in 
1946, Martin Kull, and W. 0. Keller. 

This building has been a butcher shop at one 
time; Dean and Ida Kearney ran a grocery store 
here once; and once it was a pool hall. 

Many have lived in the upstairs apartment of 
this structure. 

Ralph Crutcher owns Crutcher Sales and 
Service, handling lawn and garden power equip- 

Ralph began in 1954 in the D-X Service 
Station at Route 32 and Commercial Street. In 

1961, he purchased the former 0. A. Green Garage 
north on Route 32, for a Shell Service Station. In 

1962, Ralph began handling lawn mowers and be- 
came a Simplicity dealer in 1966. 

Although he discontinued his auto service and 
sold his business property in 1973, Ralph remains 
in the lawn and garden equipment business at his 

In 1966 a lot on Commercial Street was pur- 
chased from the Engel Estate by Nathan Wascher, 
Dr. Peter Kollinger, Richard Mietzner, and Ralph 
Mietzner, and the building for the K.W.I.K. Wash 
Laundry was erected. This coin operated laundry 
and car wash has been owned by Mr. and Mrs. 
Ralph Mietzner since 1969. 

Burl Hobson opened Hobson Garage at the 
east end of Commercial Street in 1946. He began 

blacksmithing, welding, and repairing here. In 
1963 a vehicle testing machine was installed. Farm 
and business trucks are tested here. 

Hobson Garage was built by John Ebmeier 
and it was used first as a planing mill. In the 
middle 1920's, Bartlett's bought milk and made 
butter here. Later Paul Rincker used the building 
for a cream station and a poultry house. 

The mill building still stands in Strasburg, and 
is now not a business as such, but is used only for 
grain storage by Bill Yakey of Stewardson. It is 
reported to be the oldest structure in Strasburg. 
It must have been erected in 1883. 

Henry Bernhard's milling business in Shumway 
burned, and local citizens here, realizing the need 
for a mill, paid five thousand dollars and erected 
the Strasburg building. Bernhard established his 
business here. His son-in-law, August Metzler, later 
took charge. For a time people from all over the 
country came to Strasburg to get their grain ground 
into flour and meal. The business was lost before 
the depression, and the property sold at a bank- 
ruptcy sale in 1930. Floyd Yakey of Stewardson 
acquired the property, and August Kull managed 
the elevator until he retired in the 1950's. Donald 
Webner later leased the elevator. 

Schlechte Lumber Company, located in the 
south part of Strasburg, was established in 1958 on 
property purchased from Rosetta Fling. 

The company has increased in size from the 
original 60 x 100 foot of buildings to its present 
size of 150 x 300 foot of buildings. Due to ever 
increasing demands, these buildings have been 
expanded five different times. A complete line of 
building materials, hardware, DuPont paint, and 
plumbing supplies is currently carried. 

For several years, Lloyd Schlechte and his 
sons, Warren and George, built homes and did 
carpentering. Now George has taken over this 
work, while his father handles the lumber yard 
business with the help of two employees, Bryan 
Renshaw and Roscoe Hash. Warren is now a con- 
tractor working in the Effingham area. 

Many homes and other buildings have been 
constructed throughout the Strasburg area by the 

Schlechte Lumber Company continues to pro- 
vide the Strasburg community with the best 
materials and considerate service. Lloyd Schlechte 
welcomes all customers, saying^ "We are here to 
serve you and our community." 

Donald Webner of Webner's Truck Service 
and Webner's Elevator remembers trucking first in 
1927. His first truck was a '28 Chevrolet. He 
hauled livestock from the Strasburg community to 
East St. Louis and brought back feed, fertilizer, 
and roofing. This trip to the stockyards took nine 
hours and twenty minutes in those days. Now it's 
a two hour trip to truck to East St. Louis. 
Webner's presently have three semi-trucks, a straight 
truck, a lime truck, and nine trailers. 

In 1951 Donald leased Yakey's Elevator. He re- 

calls that during the 1960 wheat harvest, the entire 
east side went out of the building. No one was 
injured. People came to help from all over with 
scoop shovels, augers, and trucks, and in no time 
the disaster was cleaned up. 

Webner's present business site was developed 
in 1967 after land was purchased from Martin and 
Myrtle Ulmer. 

The Pfeiffer Lumber Company is north of 
Commercial Street in Strasburg. The lots the 
lumber yard are on are part of the original town 
laid out in 1874. 

It is said that a Renner was one of the first in 
this lumber yard, followed by a G. W. Logan. 
Records show that in 1903, J. C. Pfeiffer purchased 
the business from Wm. W. Engel. Martin Pfeiffer 
later bought his father out and he remained in the 
lumber yard until his death. His son, John C. 
Pfeiffer, Jr., cares for the lumber yard now and 
handles lumber and building supplies, paints, and 

Gerald Sporleder purchased the service station 
building on the corner of the main street in Stras- 
burg from Mrs. Herman Noffke. In 1972 he 
opened up the service station here which is now 
Strasburg Sunoco. 

Herman Noffke built the service station in 
1953, where Dr. Schroeder's office had once been. 
Vincent Noffke, Ralph Crutcher,the Nippe Brothers, 
Lloyd and Fred Durbin, and Kenneth Noffke all 
have been in business here. 

The East Tavern on Commercial Street stands 
empty at the present. In 1947 the frame tavern 
building at that location burned, but was soon 
rebuilt by John Anderson and George Lloyd. 
Owners since the block building was erected have 
been: Anderson and Alanbaugh, Martin Kull, Dell 
Martin, Bob Merriman, Harold Nippe, and Art 
Nippe. The property remains a part of the Goldie 
Nippe Estate. 

The garage building south of Dale York's Cafe 
stands empty now. This structure was built in 1926 
by Gay York just before the slab construction was 
begun. This was the Ford Garage in Strasburg for 
years. Gay remained in business here until his 
death in 1960. For twenty-three years Emil Ulmer 
was mechanic for Yorks. The building remains 
under the York family ownership. 

Renshaw's Superway is located in the brick 
building at the west end of Commercial Street. 
The Big Four-J. C. Pfeiffer, Bert Harves, John 
Bauer, and J. J. Kull-erected this building to 
handle general merchandise. Everything from 
machinery to groceries, from fabrics to hardware, 
was sold here. 

Earl Renshaw began his business in Strasburg 
in December, 1946, when he returned from serving 
in World War II. He purchased Art Culver's store, 
which was located where the Community Building 
is now. Earl recalls that at this time Strasburg had 

a thriving business district with three car agencies, 
four taverns, two hardware stores, a doctor, a 
nursing home, two restaurants, and five groceries. 

The following July Weber Brothers wanted to 
sell their business, and Earl formed a partnership 
with Henry Myers to purchase the store. Renshaw 
and Myers were in business until Henry Myer sold 
out to Earl and returned to college. In 1957, 
Martin Weber's store and building was purchased 
by Earl, and Renshaw's moved into the present 

Earl remembers that years ago the store was 
open on Saturday night. Sometimes as many as 
nine hundred dozen eggs would be bought from 
local farmers on a Saturday night. Cream was also 
purchased and tested in the back room. 

Free movies brought crowds to town, and 
often during intermission, a hundred ice cream 
cones were dipped up. 

Renshaw's operated branch stores in both 
Stewardson and Windsor at one time. 

The present-day store is a modern air-condi- 
tioned building, specializing in groceries and meat. 
A wide range of ready to wear basics and sewing 
needs are carried. Sundries, baby clothing, shoes, 
and gifts are also sold. 

The north end garage building was erected in 
1947 by 0. A. Green and his son, Lowell. Boone 
Martin laid the brick with help from Ott Nippe, 
Joe Rawlings, and Martin Mueller. After World 
War II until 1950, the Green's sold Kaiser-Frazer 
autos here. Then they had the Dodge-Plymouth 
agency. Lowell was with his father in business 
until 1957, when he became postmaster. 

Bitzer-Taggart of Shelbyville was in business 
in this garage, and later Dale Young used it for a 

In 1961, Ralph Crutcher purchased the gar- 
age for a Shell Service Station. 

Jim Wittenberg owns the building now, and 

this is his truck service station. Jim hauls grain 
locally, and trucks produce over a twenty state 
area. He has three tractors and five trailers. Two 
others help him drive. 

Leverett Buesking trucked for Joe Young and 
Orty Webner previous to 1939, when he went into 
business for himself. Farmers would contact him, 
and he would haul livestock to packing plants. 
Leverett trucks now throughout the middle west, 
hauling livestock and feed. He owns two power 
units and four trailers. 

Both Darrell Cress and Bill Walker own their 
own tractors, and they lease to CBW Transport 
Service of South Roxana, Illinois. 

Ronald Newcomb owns three tractors and 
leases to John David Trucking Company of Effing- 

Tobe Kircher, north of Strasburg, does general 
hauling with his four semi-trucks. 

The G. and J. Construction Company of Stras- 
burg is owned by George Schlechte and Jim Bales. 

George Schlechte has done carpentering since 
he graduated from high school in 1951. In 1969 
he and Jim formed a partnership and they expand- 
ed the business. Five other craftsmen, beside the 
owners, are on the G. and J. payroll presently. 
The company specializes in construction of homes 
and in remodeling. 

Construction is done by the G. and J. Con- 
struction Company throughout the area, from 
Sullivan to Effingham. 

Rudolph Kull of Strasburg is the insurance 
agent for Pana-Hillsboro Company in the com- 
munity. This business has been handled by the 
same family for over forty years. 

The One Day Coal Mine 

Bert Wiandt related the story of the short- 
lived coal mining industry in Strasburg. The town 
tested for coal and water when Bert was a small 
boy during the 1880's. An Artesian well was dug 
near where the fire house is presently located. 
Drilling there revealed the presence of coal— in 
fact, a vein estimated to be five feet thick. 

In 1888 local men drilled in different sites 
around the village, and a mine was dug east of the 
former Strasburg High School, on ground known 
for years as the Engel ground, now owned by 
George Schlechte. When the coal was reached, it 

was only six inches thick on one side and seven- 
teen inches thick on the other. Bert called the 
Strasburg vein a "horseback"-thick only in one 
place and otherwise too thin to be profitable. Salt 
water filled the mine shaft within twenty-four 
hours, floating tools to the top, and the dis- 
couraged drill crew quit. The mine shaft walls were 
boarded up with bridge timber and about 1928, 
Gay York, local Ford dealer, dumped old cars in it. 
As it grew over, the abandoned mine shaft looked 
safe, but it remained a dangerous attraction to area 
children until 1970 when the shaft was filled. 


Can We Forget? 

Saturday night free movies? 

Homecoming barbecues? 

The church bell tolling a death announcement? 

Ida Ruwe's "BURG" at Central Office? 

The Memorial Board of service men? 

"Pressing the bricks" on Thursday band concert 

Class plays held above local businesses? 
St. Paul's German picnics? 
The brick sidewalks? 
The noon whistle? 

Bill Wilson punching the clock on his beat? 
Light poles in the middle of main street? 
The OUTSIDE gym? 
Homecoming down main street? 

Balloon ascensions? 
Eavesdropping on party lines? 
Rummy marathons in the East Tavern? 
The town pumps? 
No phone calls after 9 p.m.? 
Cutouts on the Model T's? 
John Klump lighting the street lamps? 
The stores open til midnight on Saturday nights? 
Pie and box suppers? 
Ice skating on Henne's Pond? 
Jacking the car up for the winter? 
Making a meal on 10# cheese and 5tf crackers? 
Backing up steep hills in the Model T's? 
The annual Christmas tree in the center intersection 
of town? 

Centennial Farms 

Many area farms have been in the same family 
for over a century. Owners of the following ones 
have applied and received emblems presented by 
the Charleston Production Credit Association and 
the Illinois Department of Agriculture. 

Eighty acres, two miles south of Strasburg, 
belonging to Charles and Mildred Nippe was first 
purchased by Henry Figge, Charles' great-grand- 
father, who came here from the St. Louis area. The 
family farm was then Charlie Figge's; and later Mrs. 
Joe Nippe's. 

Donald and Melba Ruff reside now on the 
farm owned originally by John Ruff, Donald's 
grandfather. Louis Ruff later lived on the home- 

The Brehmer farm south of Strasburg on 
Route 32, was first purchased from the Illinois 
Central by Carl Brehmer. Wm. J. Brehmer, his 
son, later lived on the farm, and now Wm. Brehmer, 
his grandson, resides here. 

The Russell farm by Lower Ash Church, east 
of Strasburg, was first farmed by Hiram Russell, 
who came from Indiana. His son, Noah Russell, 
later resided here, and then Morris Russell, his 
grandson. Feme Russell lived on the homeplace 
until recently. 

The Ulmer farm was homesteaded by Andrew 
and Sophia Ulmer. The youngest of their sixteen 
children, Martin, took over the farm. He is sur- 
vived by his wife Mary who still lives on this farm 
northeast of Strasburg. 

The Wm. Pikesh, Jr. family still farms and 

lives on the land once owned by his father, Wm. 
Pikesh, his aunt, Anna Pikesh, and his grandfather, 
John Pikesh. 

The Duncan farm, three miles north of 
Strasburg, was acquired in 1838 and 1843 by 
James Duncan. The homeplace was owned later 
by Thomas Duncan, then Edward Duncan, and 
now Edward's wife, Ethel Duncan. The thirty acre 
plot was owned by James A. and Hannah Duncan, 
then Edward, and at the present, owners are Ethel 
Duncan and George and Gretchen Schumacher, 
who is a great grand-daughter of the original owner. 

Glen and Fern L. Brandt are owners of three 
centennial farms. One is north of St. Paul's 
Cemetery, and was owned by the Altags, and later 
Minnie and Rudolph Von Behren, grandparents 
and parents of Fern. The farm east of Strasburg 
was owned by Wm. Von Behren, then his children, 
and now Glen and Fern L. Brandt. Frankie Brandt 
now lives where Carl J. Juhnke first lived. Later 
Minnie Von Behren owned this farm. 

The farm north of Strasburg, where Elmer 
Richards has lived since 1939, was first purchased 
by his great-grandfather, James Duncan in 1838. 
Ruth Leathers, a daughter of James, had the 
property in 1865, and then it was out of the family 
for a brief period. Sam Duncan, Elmer's grand- 
father, obtained the land in 1874; then in 1935, 
Mary Elizabeth Richards and Ida Compton were 
owners. Ida deeded it to M. E. Richards that same 
year. In 1950, Simon Richards, Elmer's brother, 
was the landowner, and since 1960 it has belonged 
to Elmer. 

Other area farms that have been in the same 
family for over a century include that of Garl 
Figgins the Martin Vogel Estate, Otto Lading s, 
Gene Telgman, Ervin Lenz, Robert Stremmmg, Ed 
Lenz, and Oma Foelsing. 

Left: Loads of soy beans awaiting their turn to be un- 
loaded at the elevator, October 1944. 

J. J. Spannagel binding 
grain - 1917. 

Farm mower pulled by mule 

A barn raising. Walls were assembled on the ground and raised into place with long poles. 

Old steam engine running a grain separator before combines were in use. 

Right: Early pickup baler on Ervin Reel farm 
1930. Below: Clyde Reel on one of the first 
combines used in the community in 1930. 

Historic Homes 

The home of Lena Weber on the main street 
of Strasburg is in the original town plot laid out by 
Charles Ostermeier in January, 1874. Mr. Oster- 
meier owned the house, and later it sold to C. 
Doehring. The property changed hands several 
times. According to the abstract, it was once owned 
by the Crawfordsville Casket Co. Once the house 
was used as a millinery shop by the Beck sisters, 
Myrtle and Eff ie. J. E. Weber purchased the house 
in 1898. 

Many remember the huge maple tree that 
stood near this home until the last few years. It 
was one of the original row of trees set out in the 
early history of Strasburg along the north side of 
Commercial Street. 

In March of 1874, Charles Ostermeier built 
the home where Ed Ostermeier and his wife now 
reside. It has changed titles many times, and in 
1958 the Ed Ostermeiers bought it from his 
brother Herman. 

This house originally had four rooms-two 
down and two upstairs. When Herman Wangelein 
owned it, another room was added and grey 
weatherboard siding was put on. 

This may be the oldest house in Strasburg. 

Paul Boyer's home in the southeast part of 
town was in the J. F. Kull Sub-Division. It had 
belonged to Henry Faster. 

Marie Boyer tells that her parents, the Alf 
Dulings, began housekeeping here in 1900. At 
that time, the house was very old. The south part 
of the home was the original section and consisted 
of two rooms, one up and one down, with an out- 
side stairway on the north. 

In 1913 Dulings moved out of the house for a 
time, so that two new rooms and the summer 
kitchen could be added to the structure. Jake Kull 
was the carpenter. 

Paul and Marie Boyer moved in during 1939. 
They have remodeled once. 

James Bush now owns the Martin Hamm home 
reportedly built in 1892. The original house con- 
sisted of two rooms up and two down plus a 
kitchen and a small room for a hired girl. In 1908, the 
hall, stairway, two bedrooms and a parlor were 
added by Martin Hamm who owned the home 
until Kenneth York purchased the property in 
1945. The house now was used for a tavern as well 
as a home. Max Prosser bought the property in 
1951, and the Bob Pattersons owned it from 1963 
until 1973. 

The first cement sidewalks in Strasburg are 
said to be those in front of this house. It's 
reported that George Patterson mixed the cement 
by hand, and poured the walks. 

A. F. Van Rheeden, one of Strasburgs' first 
citizens, had the home just west of York's Cafe 

built around 1880. Last owners were Alvin and 
Belle Kearney. It is a lovely, spacious house 
featuring a curved stair case, and it is surrounded 
by lush landscaping. This was the Chris Kircher 
home for years until the 1930's, at which time 
Alvin Kearney purchased the property. 

At the present the house stands empty, 
owned by Jim York. 

About two miles north of Strasburg on route 
32 at the top of the hill is the home of Albert 
Doehring. The farm house is on the west side of 
route 32, and the farm buildings are on the east 
side of the pavement. The house reportedly was 
built by L. H. Turner about 1874. 

The Herman Doehrings purchased the farm 
about 1902 from Tom Lading. After Herman 
Doehring passed away, his son Albert remained on 
the farm. 

The home has changed little over the years. 
At one time it had green window shutters and a 
fancy railing above the porch. 

The Bill Faster home on route 32 is at the 
south edge of Strasburg. The east part of the 
house was the original one-room cabin made of 
four by four hand hewn logs. 

This has been plastered over and added onto. 
No doubt this was one of the first homes in 
Strasburg, although no records can be located. 
In 1876 J. J. Kull owned the house and the forty 
acres it was on. He and his bride started house- 
keeping here, and the house was old at that time. 
Henry Faster lived in the home, and later his 
children William, Sophia, and Mary made this their 
home. The house was occupied until the 1960's. 
John Wittenberg is the present property owner. 

One mile south of Strasburg on the Clarksburg 
Road live the Albert Muellers. This land was pur- 
chased in 1870 and 1871, and Albert's grandparents, 
the Frederick Luedkes, built the house on the 
property in 1874 or before. Albert lived here as a 
boy with his grandfather who remained on the farm 
until 1907. His brother William farmed here for a 
few years. The property was owned by Albert's 
mother. He moved on the farm in 1923, and still 
resides there. 

Prairie grass still grows along the ditch, some- 
times to a height of eight feet. Albert remembers 
that this ground used to be little more than swamp 
ground infested with snakes. 

One of the older houses in Strasburg now own- 
ed by Golda Ritchey is two blocks west of Kull 
Brothers. This house has had many owners. 
George Young owned it in 1900, and in the 1910's 
Henry Kircher made it his home. James Wiandt 
and his family occupied the house for several years. 
Lizzie Giertz lived here in the 1930's until about 
1952. The Drake family bought the property in 

1960, and in 1966 Proffits purchased 
Ritchey became owner in 1973. 


The house that Carroll Burgess now owns is 
on lots that were originally part of a tract given by 
the United States Government to the state in 1850. 
The lots then became the property of the Illinois 
Central Railroad in 1852. The first individual own- 
ing the property was Colbin Seim. The lots passed 
through several hands until A. F. Van Rheeden 
acquired them in 1880's. Ada Mae Figgenbaum, 
grandmother of Zoe and Woodrow Wilson, be- 
came owner in 1889. Bill Wilson lived in this home 
for several years. The Wilson family owned the 
property until 1963 when Freddie Durbin bought 

it. Durbins sold the home to Carroll Burgess in 

The brick house in the southwest part of town 
known commonly as the Figge House was built by 
J. J. Kull in 1896. J. J. Kull lived here until his 
death in 1927, and then his widow remained. She 
died a few years later, and Pete and Sarah Buesking 
(daughter of J. J.) lived in the home until the 
middle 1930's. At this time the property was pur- 
chased by Louie Figge, local harness maker. This 
was the Figge home until 1964. From the Figge 
estate, the home sold to Omer Thomas. Richard 
Holbrook, next owner, sold to Paul Pieper who 
owns the property now. 

The Ed and Cora Ostermeier home. 
Lena Weber's home. 

Albert Mueller residence. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fred (Fritzie) Brehmer with their 1917 Chevrolet. 

Movin' On 

J. E. Weber in touring car. 

Florence Spannagel, Fern (Spannagel) Reed, Edward Spannagel and Orville Klump 

Max and Floyd Weber prepare to deliver in their 1926 Ford 

Seven young ladies take a spin in what is thought to be the 
first Strasburg-owned car. Back row: Rosa Ruff, Mary Terry, 
Leah Spannagel. Front row: Mary Meyer, Cora Ruff, Mrs. 
Latimer (seated in front) with Alma Bauer at the wheel. 

Road Oiler improves streets in Strasburg. 

"Better Get a Horse"- 
Martin Buesking and Martin 
Von Behren drive down 
Commercial in front of the 
Strasburg House. 



James Wiandt saw the village of Strasburg 
grow from a handful of stores on the prairie to a 
flourishing town. 

Merchant, jeweler, druggist, and postmaster - 
James Wiandt was all of these. Primarily, however, 
he was a craftsman who through the years mended 
clocks, watches, locks, and hinges, did wagon work, 
made keys, Jews' harps, reeds for wind instruments, 
fashioned pocket knives, made cowbells, and 
created violins. 

Violins made by Wiandt were noted for their 
sweet tones. His favorite woods to use were cherry 
and maple. His violins usually sold for under 
$100.00. When asked how he learned to make 
violins, it's said that he replied, "I just took it up." 

James Wiandt built the first jail in Strasburg, 
put down the first sidewalk, and dug the first city 

He came to Strasburg as a boy of sixteen lured 
by the good farming ground. Here he lived until 
his death in 1939. He is buried in Gaskill Cemetery. 

James Wiandt 


Emma and Lizzie Walters lived in Strasburg for 
years, and they supplied the entire community 
with fruits, vegetables, milk, butter, eggs, and 
chickens. The Walters girls had a large garden and a 
truck patch. Hops grew on the garden fence, and 
the sisters made yeast, which many people in town 
used. From their hotbed by the house, Emma and 
Lizzie sold celery plants, tomatoes, peppers and 
cabbage plant. 

The seamstress was Emma, who sewed for all 
of Strasburg. Customers even traveled from Shelby- 
ville to be fitted. Many brides walked down the 
church aisle wearing a gown by Emma. There 
were no commercial patterns to use, and the Walter 
girls were experts at cutting their own. For twenty- 
five cents, they would make a pattern for local 
seamstresses to use. Lizzie did most of the outside 
work, and Emma sewed. 

Emma clerked and tested cream for Dick 
Storm in his store, and later she worked for Martin 
Weber in his business. At one time she helped at 
York's Cafe. She served the village as treasurer 
from 1945 to 1957. 

Lizzie passed away in 1960, and Emma's 
wish to die alone at home was fulfilled in 1962 
when she was found by neighbors. 

Alf Duling 


Marvin Ulmer recalls from his boyhood days 
in town: "A fascinating place on Strasburg's main 
street in the early 1900's was the blacksmith shop. 
It was presided over by "Binky" Duling. He was 
only about 5' 5" tall, but he had the biggest biceps 
in town. The big activity here was the shoeing of 
hordes, banging the red hot plow shares, and putting 
a large rim of steel on the wheels of the box wagons. 
It was quite a sight to see "Binky" bounce that big 
hammer on a red hot plow share and wonder why 
the place didn't catch on fire when the hot sparks 
fell on the floor. 

Most interesting of all was "Binky" himself. 
He drove a 1918 Dort. In fair weather it was open, 
and when it rained he put on the side curtains. 
This little man with the big muscles liked music 
and had played in the Strasburg Band and was on 
the school board." (Duling Gym was named for 
Alf Duling, who was instrumental in getting the 

Marvin ends by writing: "Binky" Duling was 
my friend when I was little because he always had 
time to talk to me. He answered all questions - 
relevant and irrelevant. He was quite a fellow!" 


When Bertha Hoese came to Strasburg the 
lives of hundreds were destined to be changed. A 
tall, lively girl with sparkling brown eyes she 
assumed charge of the lower grades in Strasburg 
Public School and taught them, not with the rod, 
but with love and patience. This was her teaching 
credo throughout her long teaching career. 

Romance came to Bertha with her introduc- 
tion to a young barber, Harry York, and the court- 
ship developed into marriage. This was in the days 
when the woman's place was in the home, and 
Bertha left her beloved schoolroom to become a 
wife and mother. 

In 1924, however, the clang of the school bell 
and the smell of chalk dust could no longer be 
resisted and Bertha was back, her kind but firm 
personality pervading the lower grades. 

Children in Mrs. York's room were taught not 
only the fundamental readin', writin' and 'rithmetic, 
but were instilled with a philosophy of living to 
serve them throughout life. She believed in the 
simple things - faith, love, charity, and above all, 
the beauty of the things around her. She was once 
heard to remark, "I see beauty in all things. Even 
the sight of freshly washed clothing flapping in the 
breeze is a thing of beauty." 

She returned in 1941 after twenty-five years of 
teaching in Shelby County. 


Have an old shed to move? Need a load of 
coal or concrete blocks-sand or rock? Want your 
junk hauled away? 

Until his untimely death in 1963 at the age of 
fifty-three, Willard Richards was always available 
for such jobs. He had a wench truck and a truck 
for hauling. Anything that had to be hauled he'd 
haul. Loving a challenge, if anyone said a job 
couldn't be done, Willard would do it. 

Born and raised west of Strasburg where Max 
Prosser now lives, Willard and his father lived on 
that farm all of their lives. 

In World War II, Willard served in the Phili- 
ppines and New Guinea, and he traveled extensively 
whenever he had the opportunity. An independent 
thinker, even in the army, Willard refused rank 
many times, and was discharged as private first 
class. Although he tried to hide his talents, his 
superiors eventually discovered that he was an 
expert driver, and he drove an army truck and also 
an officer's jeep. Willard refused his overseas pay 
when discharged, saying that if the government 
would leave him alone, he'd leave them alone. 

Clamping his cigar stub in his mouth, Willard 
dispensed his philosophy along with his hauling. He 
never believed in paying income tax. If he was 
making too much profit during the year, jobs were 
done near the end of the year for little or nothing. 

The waste in the army bothered him, and his 
goal was to buy an LST transport truck, go back to 
the Philippines, and salvage equipment buried and 
left there. 

Willard Richards 


William Faster 

If you had a clock that didn't run or needed 
oiling, a saw that was dull, or a camera that was 
giving trouble, you had only to take it to Bill and 
tell him all your troubles. In his earlier days he 
worked in the bank but later became postmaster. 
While at this job, he always delivered the special 
delivery letters with all haste. His window was 
always open, and he was the friend and confidante 
of every high school kid. In spite of the "No 
loitering" sign in the lobby, much time was spent 
by students in pouring out their woes to Bill, and 
he would try his best to come up with a remedy. 

After he was out of the post office, he opened 
up his Fixit Shop at his home, where people came 
from great distances and brought their articles to 
be mended. Bill, a bachelor, lived with his two 
unmarried sisters in their parental home on the 
south edge of Strasburg. This house is one of the 
oldest buildings still standing in town, and part is 
the original log house. After his sisters died, he 
went to live with his nephew Bob in Kansas City, 
and took an active interest in the happenings of that 
city. When Bob moved to Mattoon, he also made 
his home there. But Bill missed being able to walk 
up to Main Street and chat with old friends and 
cronies. He loved to talk, and could spin yarn upon 
yarn about the old town when it was almost new, 
and could tell many colorful stories of the people 
who are now gone. If Bill were still with us, I'm 
sure that this book would be a lot easier to write. 

Walter Andes 


Walt was probably about as well known asany- 
one in the Strasburg vicinity, if not by sight, at 
least his voice could be recognized. He was the 
local telephone operator, taking over that job after 
his father died. He was also the repair man and 
could be seen almost anywhere fixing a line or pole 
that was broken or worn out. He lived with his 
mother, but his home was actually in the telephone 
office. Since he was on call for emergency tele- 
phone service all night, he had his bed close to the 
switchboard. In his earlier days he worked at 
various jobs, one of them being a helper to Boone 
Martin, who did masonry work. Walt loved to tell 
about one job where he and Boone were repairing 
the plaster in the ceiling of a home. They jokingly 
told the lady that the ceiling was guaranteed to stay 
up until they got out of the house. Sure enough, 
just as they got out of the door, the whole new 
plastering came crashing down! 


The two sisters, Etta and Rosa, were daughters 
of Dr. and Mrs. Risser and were born in the frame 
building which served as home and office for the 
doctor. As a girl, Etta liked to accompany her 
father in his rounds of sick calls, and began to give 
what aid she could to the patients. Etta worked as 
assistant in the post office and took a great interest 
in photography. When their mother died, the two 
girls kept house for their father, and the three of 
them took their motherless nephew and grandson 
into their home. 

The sisters were always ready for an outing or 
picnic, whether it was in their back yard, in the 
nearby woods, or some far-off scenic place. Plan- 
ning parties was a great delight to them, and they 
entertained a host of friends. At Christmas time, 
their house was always the first one decorated, and 
it gleamed from top to bottom, adding glamour to 
the many holiday festivities for which they were 
famous. Both loved to walk, and Etta especially 
could easily cover more than a dozen miles at a 

After Dr. Risser died, the sisters kept the 
household going, and also remodeled the house so 
that it could be operated as a convalescent home 
and a home for elderly and disabled people. Rosa 
did most of the cooking, and Etta was the chief 
nurse. They took great pains to keep up the morale 
of the patients. One elderly grandmother they 
always dolled up with ribbons when she was having 
company, and for a helpless man, they saw to it 
that the radio was nearby and tuned to his favorite 
ball game, Etta would make bets with him on the 
outcome of the games, and could read in his eyes 
his pleasure or disapproval of the proceedings. The 
Risser girls continued in this work until age began 
taking its toll. _ 

In April, 1973, Rosa passed away, and Etta 
died only six weeks later. 



Although she was christened Elaine Ulmer at 
birth, within a few days her father Gilbert had 
dubbed her with the nickname "Booby" and this 
affectionate term stuck throughout her life. 

She spent her entire life in Strasburg, except 
for a year in California, while her husband was 
serving in the Korean War, and her interests en- 
compassed the entire community. 

If any neighbor was sick, Booby was one of 
the first to arrive with a tasty dish. She was a friend 
of the elderly and spent many hours in their 
company, bringing a ray of sunshine into their 
lives. Mother of two sons, she served her time as 
Den Mother, and her basement, was a gathering 
place for many after-the-game activities for both 
the youthful participants and their parents. 

When Booby heard that Strasburg was going 
to celebrate its hundredth birthday, she plunged 
headlong into helping plan the activities. She held 
a party to raise funds, and donated all the profits 
to the Hundertjahrfest and started a gold embel- 
lished tablecloth featuring all the town's businesses. 
Her brown eyes sparkled with relish when she 
talked about her plans for 1974. 

But 1974 was not to be for Booby. In the 
spring she underwent surgery and the diagnosis was 
cancer. Still she went on planning for the future 
which she knew she would not live to enjoy. 
Always an active church worker, she set an 
example for her fellowmen by maintaining her 
fortitude and faith in God. In the late summer 
Booby left us, but her spirit lives on. 

Elaine (Booby) Merriman 

Frieda Lading 


In Webster's dictionary, a secretary is defined 
as one employed to handle correspondence and 
manage routine and detail work for a superior. 
But, Mrs. Lading was much more than this. 

Frieda Lading attended Brown's Business Col- 
lege in Decatur, and she did some secretarial work 
in Michigan. In 1948 she became secretary at the 
Strasburg school. She became unit secretary in 
1952, and she served in the capacity until her 
retirement in 1971. 

Efficient and courteous, she became very 
knowledgeable about school business and was in- 
dispensable around the school office. Faculty and 
students alike relied on her. School was her life, 
and she gave unselfishly of her time and energy. 

As a mother of a grown family— a son and two 
daughters-Mrs. Lading anticipated retirement. She 
had grandchildren to enjoy, plus her rose bushes and 
her flower beds. Retirement was short for her, 
however, only a few months of leisure, a trip to 
Florida, and Mrs. Lading died unexpectedly after a 
brief illness. 


Law and Order in Strasburg 

Strasburg was a typical pioneer town. To it, 
as to every town that was started in those days, 
came gamblers and rowdies. Fights and gunplay 
were sometimes indulged in, and the village enjoyed 
more local color than peace of mind. Law and order 
were in the person of a town marshal with a three 
foot club. He was often scoffed at, for culprits 
when pursued had the disconcerting practice of 
running, jumping over the fence (located on the 
west side of the route between where Kull Brothers 
and York's Cafe now stand) and, safe outside the 
city limits and the jurisdiction of its law, expressing 
in lurid terms their opinions of it. As the town 
grew, this element subsided and finally disappeared. 

Marshals and night watchmen of the past 
recalled by local citizens include: A. A. (Raspberry) 
Beck, Jasper Curry, John Ebmeier who took his 
dog along when walking his beat, Jake Martin, 
Ben Bingaman, and Louie Knapp. Later "old 
John Klump" kept order, then Bill Wilson, A. V. 
(Slug) Unruh, and Red Keller. Presently, Donald 

Webner is Strasburg's night watchman. 

Five armed gunmen disturbed the peace in 
Strasburg in 1930, early one morning. The night 
watchman, Bill Wilson, was tied up and taken to the 
Orty Webner store which stood where Renshaw's 
parking lot now is. One bandit was left to stand 
and guard Wilson. The other four, it's reported, 
captured the bread truck driver who was delivering 
in town. Ralph Terry who drove for Orty Webner 
appeared on the scene to get a truck out, and the 
robbers promptly tied him up. All three captured 
by the gunmen were found about 6:30 a.m. 

$75.00 worth of merchandise was taken from 
M. R. Storm's store, and the post office was 
entered. Several items were also taken from Orty 
Webner's Hardware Store. 

Later the gunmen were caught in the Decatur 

The Barber Shop Mirror 

The mirror still in the former barber shop on 
Commercial Street was the basis of a feature news- 
paper article in March, 1951. At that time, the 
mirror reportedly was at least forty years old - 
which dates it to the year 1911. Businessmen in 
Strasburg around 1911 had ads at the top and 
bottom of the mirror. Since this gives a good idea 
of Strasburg businesses at that period, we list these 

Charles Mueller - dealer in wines, beer 
H. J. Rogers - blacksmith and woodwork man 

E. M. York - clothing 

John Bauer — merchant and autos 
Wm. W. Engel - real estate 

F. C. Doehring — auctioneer and real estate 

J. C. Pfeiffer - building materials and funeral 

Buell and Son - dealer in wine, liquor, and cigars 

H. H. Buesking - livery, feed, and sale barn 

J. E. Weber - general store 

Chris Kircher - general merchandise 

Wm. E. Swigert —wines, liquors, and cigars 

Charles C. Beck - store 

Strausburg State Bank 

It is said that this mirror was purchased by 
the businessmen in town from a traveling salesman 
from Salem, Illinois. Henry Faster in the Strasburg 
State Bank signed up for the bank ad on the 
mirror. When the mirror was delivered, Faster saw 
that the name Strasburg was misspelled, and so 
that ad has never been paid for. 


The historical book committee gratefully acknowledges all the help given by so many in compiling this 
booklet. People made long distance phone calls, checked cemeteries for tombstone dates, tore entire pages 
out of albums, searched through scrapbooks, and went through abstracts, files and records. 

Many contributed articles, notes, and histories. Among them were Nina Widdersheim, Roscoe and 
Mildred Hash, Lena Weber, Helen Rincker, Gene and Joyce Kull, Betty Stilabower, Linel and Ruth Thomas, 
G B. Ulmer,' Frank Laurent, Marvin Ulmer, Bryan Renshaw, Max Weber, Dwight and Melvma Lading, 
Dorothy Pfei'ffer, Curtis and Genevieve Buesking, Wilma Decker, Ed Lenz, Rev. Kammrath, Max Prosser, 
Bessie Thomas, and Velma Weber. Local businessmen helped with their histories, and club officers con- 
tributed club records. 

Personal histories and pictures came from the involved families shown in these photographs. Other 
pictures were loaned to us by Leland Buesking, Luella Kull, Ervin Reel, Dale Young, Forest Gene Risser, 
Ruth Bushhouse, Dorothy Pfeiffer, Florence Staehli, Martha Bauer, Charles Rosine, G. B. Ulmer, Aurora 
Kull, Mildred Hash, Max Weber, Grace Schmitt, Neva Buesking, Lena Weber, Maye Young, Alma Ruff, Nita 
Vogel, Bryan Renshaw, Gilbert Stremming, Oma Foelsing, Grace Knop, Emil Ulmer, Florence Spannagel, 
Waldo Wiandt, Lorene Baumgarten, and Ed Ostermeier. Roy Spracklen, Carroll Burgess, and Dale Young 
took photographs for the book. 

We've relied on the memories of many, and we are grateful for all the time people have spent with us. 

We're thankful to Nona Belle Keller who checked articles for grammatical errors; and to Annette 
Buesking, Joyce Kull, Carolyn Stremming, and Sharon Helton who typed the book copy. 

A special thank-you goes to Donna Johnson and her group of ad salesmen for the book. On her 
committee were: Paula Kammrath, Kenton Augenstein, Martena Elam, Lynda Mason, Emily Young, Floyd 
Storm, and Ronnie Johnson. 

The book committee appreciates all those who helped or encouraged in any way throughout the 
months of research and writing. 

To the best of our ability, the information presented here is as accurate as possible. There may be 
discrepancies in some stories because memories are not infallable, and many times written records were not 

It's been a joy to work with local citizens in gathering and recording the history of Strasburg. 

Florence Spannagel 
Noberta Renshaw 
Nita Vogel 
Chris Storm 

Sources of Information 

1. Combined History of Shelby & Moultrie Counties, Illinois with illustrations. Published by Brink, 
McDonough & Co., Phil., Edwardsville, Illinois. 1881. 

2. Here and There in Shelby County, collected and edited by Shelby County Historical and 
Genealogical Society. 1973. 

3. Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois & History of Shelby County, Volume II. Bateman & Selby 
Chafer. 1910. 

4. Scrapbooks owned by Lena Weber. 

5. "Strasburg Fiddles" by Beulah Gordon. 


Table of Contents 

Strasburg Is 1 

Plat Map 2 

How It All Began 3 

Silver Threads Among the Gold 5 

Town Board History and Records 12 

Early Businesses 14 

Shindigs and Sociables 21 

Medical History 24 

Post Office History 26 

The Presses Roll 27 

Number, Please-The Telephone Story 28 

Strasburg Bank History 29 

Funeral Customs 30 

And Here They Lie - - - 31 

The Wabash Railroad 31 

The Laying of the "Slab" 34 

Strasburg Homecomings 34 

With a Song in Their Hearts 39 

Disasters! 41 

Faith of our Fathers-The Story of our Churches 43 

School Days 48 

"For God and Country" 60 

Depression Days 62 

Clubs of Yesteryear 63 

Todays Organizations 64 

Fire Department 66 

Water Department 67 

Strasburg Today 67 

The One Day Coal Mine 76 

Can We Forget? 77 

Centennial Farms 77 

Historic Homes 80 

Movin' On 82 

Cameos 84 

Law and Order in Strasburg 89 

The Barber Shop Mirror 89 

Acknowledgements 90 

Sources of Information 90 


Mr. & Mrs. Max F.Weber Dr. W. L. Podesta 

Mr. & Mrs. Arthur J. Steidley Dr. H. H. Pettry 

Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Shafer Dr. R. H. Larson 

Mr. Adolph Rubin Dr. Peter Kollinger 

Mr. W.W.Miller A Friend 

Other individuals and organizations have contributed toward our centennial book. 

We wish to express our sincere thanks! 

The Centennial Committee 




PHONE 644-9603 


John & Margaret Falk 

isnta Jflasliiotts 

"Headquarters for Jeans and Things ' 

Compliments of 



118 W. Washington Ave., Effingham, 



^Lell Peholeum Products - l(w(toi|cl files 

BOX 70 


Phone (217) 342 3939 

Compliments of 

301 E. Jefferson 
Effingham, III. 






1006 Maine Telephone 459-2211 

Compliments of 


Windsor, Illinois 

Compliments of 


Windsor, Illinois 

Compliments of 
Altamont Jewelry & Music 

115 W. Washington 
Altamont, Illinois 62411 

Phone (618) 483-5329 


1018 Maine Windsor. III. 

School Sales - Team Sales 

Fishing Equipment-Live Bait 

Lawrence "Brud" Carter, Owner 




1103 W. Fayette 

Effingham, III. 

Ph. 342 3777 

Compliments of 


Altamont, III. 

Hardware-Appliances-T.V. Sales 
Serving the area since 1914. 


Compliments of 

1004 Maine 
Windsor, Illinois 

Compliments of 

811 S. Hamilton St. 
Sullivan, Illinois 

Ph. 459 2240 

Compliments of 

Windsor, Illinois 


Great Steaks - Delicious Pizza 

Sullivan, Illinois 
Phone 728-8031 






AHEA COOe 217 M3-2I2I 

Barker Bros. Implement Co. 


R. R. 4 
Shelbyville, Illinois 

Your Allis Chalmers Dealer 


to the 


Johnston Super Markets 



New & Used Lawn, Garden, Farm Machinery 
Rt. 16 & Hickory St. Shelbyville, Illinois 

Dowler Equipment Co. 

New Holland - Kewanee 
Bush Hog - Harigator - Glen Co. 
and other special lines of farming needs. 

Shelbyville, Illinois 



Strasburg Centennial 

Shelbyville, III. 

S. H. Young Construction 
Redi-Mix Concrete 

Phone 774-2119 
Shelbyville, Illinois 


John Deere Sales & Service 

Shelbyville, Illinois 
Rt. 16 East Ph. 774-2159 


Interstate Producers 
Livestock Assn. 

Shelbyville, Illinois 
Phone (217) 774-3939 


Since 1871 

2 Fine Stores to Serve You 

Phone 895-2248 

Phone 774-3977 

SAcet TKetol 

Heating & Air Conditioning 
Building Specialties 
Phone 774-4214 

S. Vine Shelbyville, 111. 

7 OfTrst \\iiov\i ra^k 


J L We it mm fax people 


'The Shoppe of Nationally Advertised Brands' 
for Ladies and Juniors 

Open Til 9 p.m. Wed Fri & Sat 

134 S. Vine St. 

Phone 217 543.2181 

Arthur III. 



123 South Vine Street 

Arthur, Illinois 61911 

Open Til 9p.m. Wed-Fri-Sat 

Tine, Nationally Advertised Fashions for Men and Boys' 


Compliments of 




Phone (217) 459-2143 LIQUID FERTILIZER 




Upon your 100 years 

of success. We are 

proud to be a part of 

your community. 



Sheibyville Strasburg 



Producers of Road Rock - Limestone - Chat 


Strasburg, Illinois 

Tues., Wed., Fri., & Sat. 7:30-5:30 
Thurs. 7:30-8:00 

Closed Mondays 

Compliments of 

Declare His Glory 

Compliments of 


100 Years of His Blessing 


Farm Machinery 
Overhaul - Welding 



Tuneup— Tires— Batteries 

To Strasburg, 
On Your 







Glen W. Giesler 

409 W. Main 

Stewardson, III. 

Phone 682-3301 



For the Past 33 Years. 


Phone: 644-2611 


Fencing, Roofing and 

Building Materials 

Sandwiches - Cold Drinks 

Open Sundays 

Increased Returns for Fertilizer Dollars Invested By Using 



Local Representatives 

Greg Smith 
Strasburg, III. 
Ph. 644-2496 

John A. Smith David Smith 

Stewardson, III. Stewardson, I 

Ph. 644-2401 Ph. 644-2401 

Compliments of 

Stewardson. Illinois 


Phone 682-3:93 

DAGGETT'S Canvas & Alum. Prod. 


Phone 682-3650 No ans. 682-5536 

Custom Truck, Boat & Camper 

Covers Nylon & Canvas 

also repairs 



Uxyftn Lquipf 


TELEPHONE 682-3822 

Compliments of 

Stewardson, III. 

Phone 682-3672 


General Merchandise 

Stewardson, III. 
Ph. 682-3891 

Compliments of 

Bulk Milk Tank Servict 
Stewardson, Illinois 

Happy Centennial Days from youi I ord Dealer 

Beats Motor Company 

Phone 682-3296 Stewardson, lllinoi: 

See us for all your automotive needs. 


Happy Hundertjahrfest, Strasburg! 
See us for all Grain Drying and Construction needs 

Irv. Thompson, Enterprises 
Rt. 3 

Areola, Illinois 61910 

James Zalman 

Box 78 

Stewardson, Illinois 62463 



Phone 682-3838 Stewardsor 

"Your full service Oliver Dealer for the past 35 years" 



Stewardson, III. 62463 

Phone 682 3291 






G. B. Ulmer 

A. L. Ulmer 


Founder & Owner 
From 1921 


W.R. Grace & Co 


Phone: 644-2258 

Strasburg, III. 


General Trucking 

Livestock Specialty - Fully Insured 


F.S. INC. 

Feed • Fertilizer 

Petroleum Products 

Stewardson Shelbyville 
682-3239 774-3901 

Phone: 644-2253 

Standard Oil Agent 

Strasburg, Illinois 

Phone: 644-2437 




Hotpoint - Amana - Maytag - Whirlpool 
Zenith - Motorola - A.O. Smith - Burks - Others 

Wiring & Plumbing Supplies 
Shop & Swap Where You Get PRICE & SERVICE. 

Phone: 644-2625 


Complete Feed Services-Seeds 
Custom Grinding and Mixing 

Strasburg, Illinois 62465 

Phone: 644-2242 


207 N. Morgan 
Shelbyville, Illinois 

PHONE (217) 774-3979 


No Matter What May Be Your Lot In Life, Build Something On It. 


General Electric Eltrac Tractors & L8wn Equipment 

1119 N.Morgan Shelbyville, Illinois 62565 




Shelbyville, Illinois 




Shelbyville, Illinois 


Men & Boys Clothing 
and Family Shoe Store 
Says "Congratulations", 

141 East Main 
Shelbyville, Illinois 

Compliments of 


106 East Main 
Shelbyville, Illinois 

Phone (217) 774-4841 


Phone: 217-774-4013 

I Live to Talk and Talk to Live 

DWAINE BAUER, Auctioneer 


Farm - Livestock - Real Estate 

Furniture - Antiques 

All Types of Liquidation Sales 

Windsor, Illinois 

Phone 459-2696 

Compliments of Clarence Doehring 



Doehring Implement 

Windsor, Illinois 

Congratulations to Strasburg! 


Compliments of 



Lime - General Trucking 

lini©n Service 


PHONE 682-3344 



Lumber - Building Material 

Stewardson, III. 
Phone 682-5535 

Tune-up & Engine Overhaul 

Wheel Balancing 

Rt. 32 & Stewardson Rd. 

Stewardson, III. 

Stewardson, III. 
Phone 682-3636 



Congratulations on 100 years! 

New Homes - Remodeling 
Formica Cabinets - Appliances 



Stewardson, III. 

Stewardson, III. 


Ph. 682-3851 

Stewardson, III. 




Home Delivery Service 




Phone 347-7057 or 347-7023 

Cocktail Lounge 

Effingham, III. 

/ K. \ 

I-70 & Rt. 128 Altamont, III. 


Sales and Service 
Parts and Accessories 

Having been born in Strasburg 


1704 S. BANKER ST. 

RES 342-3763 

I Bowl 1 

1 Rt. 70-5732 1 
1 Effingham, III. 1 

1 Sterling Adkins I 

Altamont, Illinois 
Home of the "SCHUETZENFEST" 


1 Phone ■ 
1 342-U45 1 





Wholesale Only 


"The Newspaper 

that cares 

about you'" 


Mattoon, Illinois 

Wrangler Western Boots 
Wolverine Work Shoes 

Dr. Scholl's 

Courtesy of 
Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home 

Mattoon, Illinois 



Jewelry & Gifts 
Downtown Mattoon 


1422 Broadway 
Mattoon, Illinois 

Compliments of 

Mattoon, Illinois 


Flower & Gift Shoppe 

Furniture & Carpeting 

'Where you have a friend in the furniture business' 

Congratulations to the 
Strasburg Community! 



>x^T - > Phone 459-2133 

" .(/' HS5*r Windsor, III. 


Quality Trucks - Jeeps Ariens & Roof Mowers Marathon Tank Wagon Service 

Congratulations on your Centennial! 


Windsor, Illinois 

Member FDIC 

Compliments of 


Phone 459-2115 Windsor, Illinois 


Complete Car, Truck & Farm Tire Service 

Compliments of 

cXovins SFuneral Mome 

Phone 459 2254 

Windsor, Illinois 

GAINES-Sporting Goods 

1417 Broadway 

Mattoon, Illinois 

Phone: 217-235-5752 

Harry Gaines 

Emily Gaines 

Wishing the Best to 
STRASBURG's 100th! 


1409 Broadway 
Mattoon, III. 

Max Hubbartt, Owner 


Sales & Service 

501 N. 19th St. 

Mattoon, III. 

Complete Farm 

and Trust Services 

Congratulations Strasburg!! 

'^z^^^' 3% State, One. 

^"^^J^yf--^ '"' Coles County's Largest and Finest Food Market 

on Marion Ave. between 15th & 16th 

Office Equip. Co. 

1 91 2 Western Ave. 
Mattoon, Illinois 



213 South 21st Street 


Mattoon, Illinois 61938 
Telephone (217) 234-6461 

''Ttottte o( t&e (fad fyty& 

Compliments of 

Mattoon, Illinois 61938 







Western Ave. Rd. Ph. 235-5667 
Mattoon, Illinois 61938 


If it's electrical - see us! 


1205 Lakeland Blvd. 
Mattoon, III. 


>4 S. 17th St. Mattoon, Illinois 

Registered Pharmacist on 

duty at all times. 

Sickroom equipment 

Hello! Best Wishes! 











Copyright, 1951, National 
Rural Electric Cooperative 

Best Wishes for Strasburg Centennial 

G. W. Prosser and Son 

Asphalt & Road Oil Contractors 



213 So. Morgan St. Shelbyville, Illinois 

PHONES: Off. 774-5032 — Homes 774-4683 - 2051 



New Homes 





George Schlechte James Bales 

Strasburg, III. ,._. . . . . „ Sullivan, III. 

Phone: 644-2609 YOU OUght tO See what We Saw Rhone: 728-7971 


Webner's Elevator & Trucking 




Phones: 644-2214 & 2215 Strasburg, Illinois 

Congratulations on Your 100th ANNIVERSARY 

The W7tewardson National Bank 

TELEPHONE (217) 682-3236 

"100 7<«£w ^«"? 



Box 488 . Effingham, llll. 62401 

EFFINGHAM, 342-4101 STEWARDSON: 682-3366 

Box 237 . Steward son, III. 62463 




PHONE 728-8332 






10 Lanes Billiards 


Sullivan, Illinois 




Phone 728-7364 

Compliments of 




'Learning More to Serve You Better' 


Phone 459-2477 

RT. 1 WINDSOR, ILL. 61957 


Congratulations on 100 Years! 

Brown Shoe Company 

Sullivan, Illinois 

I7ie Country 
Q» JCompanies 

\ ^|/^L A Farm Bureau Service 



INSURANCE COMPANIES Strasburg, Illinois 


Association of Concerned 
Classroom Teachers 



Meeting 2nd Wednesday of each month. 


JEWEL JENNE route i 

Sales Representative ALTAMONT, ILLINOIS 
PHONE 618-483-6235 

Best Wishes for a Wonderful 

Congratulations 1 

( ongratulations! 

Strasburi; Centennial' 



Slielln Count] 

County Clerk 

Circuit Clerk - Shelby County 

James T. Jiter 

Shelby County Treasurer 

Besl Wishes! 


Coroner. Shelb) ( ountj 


Supt. Educational Service Region 
Shelby County 


Compliments of 





Sh lh mil, . [llinois 

Best Wishes to 


Shelbyville, Illinois 

On Your 100th Anniversary! 
Shelby County State Bank 

Shelbyville, Illinois 
"Your Daily Interest Bank' 

Compliments of 


111 E. Main 
Shelbyville, Illinois 


to the 



Shelbyville, Illinois 

Congratulations to Strasburg 
SEARS, l<oi HI < A & CO. 

Shelbyville. Illinois 


Shelbyville, Illinois 



Wayne Wirth 

Merl Rincker 

Don Ruff 
Delbert Stremming 



Glenn Pieper 

Floyd Storr 



Richard Pfeiffer 

Dale Wirth 


Bobby L. Bridges 







r™ i 


» hikiihi »t Monsanto 

Jack Weber 



Her mar 



Edwin Manhart 


Larry Lenz 


KING Ronnie Johnson 

Earl Shumard 



Stumfz ^emwtfd 


R. R. 



Post 289 

First in the Nation 
First in the State 
First in the Community 

Welcome to the Hundertjahrfest! 

Laundries & Car Washes 
Stewardson & Strasburg 

Ralph & Joyce Mietzner, Owners 

A Good Newspaper In a Good Community 
Over 5,000 Readers 


Phone 217-682-3832 Stewardson, III. 


Mabelle M. Ryan, Publisher 
Mr. & Mrs. Ace Ryan, Business Managers 


Suffolk & Hampshire Sheep 

Chester White Hogs 

Breeding Stock that Satisfies 
Breeding Stock Available 

Greg Smith John A. or David Smith 
Strasburg Stewardson 

644-2496 644-2401 



Stewardson, Illinois 

Joe & Marie Falk 

Finest Fabrics at the Lowest Possible Price 

Complete Line of Sewing Notions 

Congratulations on 100 Years! 

Wente Locker Service 

Custom Butchering - Home Killed Meats 

Stewardson, Illinois 

Phone 682 3294 

Compliments of 

Compliments ol 




Ronald Beit/, Agent 


Licensed & Bonded Grain Dealer 

Strasburg, Illinois 

iii^m z 


Dealer-Grain, Trojan Seed Corn 
Registered Appaloosa Horses 


Stewardson, Illinois 



\ * 

Congratulations STRASBURG 
on Your 


We wish to thank the citizenry 

for your loyal support 
during our 27 years of business 
in your village. 

Earl, Noberta, Anita, Larry and Edward 



It pays in the end, 
to shop here in the beginning! 
A complete line of 
groceries - meats - sundries - dry goods 

Strasburg, Illinois 


Serving the Poultry Industry 

Since 1911 

Strasburg, III. 

We've come a long way 
since Butler manufactured 
its first grain bin in 1908. 
Now we have a complete 
line of accessories for 
improving farming efficiency. 



phone.- 644-2270 


"Service After the Sale" 



SINCE 1590 

Congratulations Strasburg! 
On 100 Years of Progress 


P.O. Box 355 Phone 644-2646 

Strasburg, Illinois 
Outdoor Power Equipment 

Now representing the oldest, eontinnin; 

Family Bell makers in the world. 

Gebruder Rinker of Sinn. Germany 


Speciality in Grain and Produce Hauling 

Phone 644-3031 Strasburg, Illinois 


Dale & Emily J. Young 



Sett 7VU&e& 




A :«<« J 

Phone 644-2231 


(Home of the Hundertjahrfest) 

Quality Lumber Courteous Service 

Hardware And a Square Deal! 

'7&ai$& tyMt fa yam fia&uHtafe <uut wetcante fo 



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